Following three years of restoration and refurbishment the Copper Rivet Distillery opened its doors at the historic Pumphouse No.5 at Chatham Maritime in Medway on 8 October.
The distillery, which is run by Bob Russell and his two sons – Gin Guild member Matthew, and Stephen, has started producing small batch, handcrafted premium quality gin (and other spirits), from locally sourced high quality Kentish grain.
Founder Bob Russell said: “Chatham Maritime and the Dockyard have an incredible heritage of craftsmanship, industry and innovation.
Our vision is to replicate and reinvent this proud Medway tradition by producing exceptional gin and other spirits from scratch in bespoke stills, wrought right here in Chatham, with the same skill that local craftsmen once fashioned world-class ships.”
“The Copper Rivet Distillery is the only spirit maker in Kent, and one of just a few in the United Kingdom taking responsibility for the complete process of brewing and distilling from grain to glass, ensuring an exceptional range of totally distinctive and unique premium spirits.”
Its Dockyard Gin is produced using a bespoke 500-litre Banik gin still, named Janet after a Russell family member. The Banik still, which is patent pending, is built to Head Distiller Abhishek Banik’s specifications and enables the distillery to not only macerate but infuse the botanicals in its Dockyard Gin, creating a totally unique, one of a kind product.
Abhishek Banik says: “Our Dockyard Gin, which is a contemporary take on traditional naval gins, celebrates our home, Chatham Dockyard.
“To create the gin, select botanicals, carefully chosen to create the perfect balance of flavour, are macerated then infused in our Banik still, Janet, for twenty-four hours. This is then distilled for an eight hour period resulting in a gin with a dry, citrus floral top note, followed by a woody leathery mid note, and a refreshing aftertaste.
“The botanicals used include Italian juniper berries, locally sourced elderflower, Bulgarian coriander seeds, Spanish orange peel, Italian lemon peel, Guatemala green cardamom, European angelica root and orris root.
Our neutral spirit is crafted from grains within the distillery providing true provenance to our spirits.”
In its first year of operation the team at the Copper Rivet Distillery will make a limited production run of 150,000 bottles of their premium craft spirits, there are however plans to expand this.
The Copper Rivet Distillery includes a visitor centre with a bar, and tours of the distillery are available. Part of the building is currently being converted in to a café and delicatessen which is scheduled to open in early 2017.
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