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Exeter Gin was born from listening to customers at our family run pop-up gin bar in the heart of Exeter. Karen noticed there was a demand for an Exeter gin after trying to source some for the gin bar, however to no avail, therefore she opted to make it herself!
Having won an award and flying the flag for Exeter with our Exeter Street Food business, we felt the pressure and expectation from both ourselves and others to produce a product that would make the people of Exeter proud. It would need to taste, look and feel premium but most of all be reflective of Exeter’s heritage.
As a family our core values of celebrating heritage & history have been so strong whether that be relaying family tales, remembering times gone by or reinforcing the values of recycling, however, most of all passing on our family heritage down to our own children and on again to their own children, meaning it’s been a privilege for us to create a Gin for Exeter. When researching and speaking to historians, the Roman occupation gave us a perfect brief as it was such a massive part of Exeter!
Exeter Gin celebrates Exeter’s heritage. It concentrates on the roman occupation between circa AD55 and AD380 ‘ISCA Dumnoniorum’ describing flowing water in reference to the River Exe. This lead us to use botanicals favoured by the Romans such as tarragon, basil, cardamom, cinnamon and marigold combined with 11 others to create Exeter Gin’s depth of taste.
Labels, Labels, Labels! This took over six months to take shape, we had so many sample bottle and label designs at times it felt like an almost impossible task. In the end we decided the only way forward was a high end screen printing method directly onto the bottle. although more costly, we ended up with a look and feel of quality, for which we have received numerous compliments and awards . Something we are truly proud of!
It took numerous attempts and tastings to perfect our first batch, however, we were never short of volunteers! We started by exploring different types of juniper as these greatly affect the overall taste. We quickly concluded that you get what you pay for, which is why we use one of the finest junipers in all of our gins. We then moved on to the botanicals, Inspired by Romans use marigold & tarragon. The actual recipe remains a closely guarded secret of our master distiller, Mick to this day.
Since Exeter Gin launched it has won local, regional, national and international awards such as Food and Drink Devon, the Great British Food Awards 2020 & more. There have been many additions to the range such as a Navy Strength version ‘Ivaar The Boneless’ at 57% abv (again award winning), miniature bottles, a range of market leading ‘Gin Pouches’ plus a letterbox range allowing more people than ever before to access our product via online sales with convenience of the product being in a pouch rather than bottle format…..far more kind to the planet.
Our directors are Karen, Mick and Lyndsey.
Karen (Managing director) is the big boss, she has qualifications and a background in law, commercial banking, advertising and business leadership experience.
Mick is the head distiller, ops guy and likes to think he’s the boss, he brings a wealth of big brand experience from his career in the motor industry, as well as an exceptional palette from plenty of Gin tasting & research.
Our Distillery houses our three main stills and also our hand bottling, waxing and labelling area.
Above the Distillery is our new Gin bar and Gin school, dotted around are themed seating areas such as the ‘Grandads allotment' area where you may notice his portrait and World War II certificate on the wall of his shed whilst you recline in his old arm chair.
It took so many runs (attempts) and tasting panels to make sure we were happy with the final gins. We decided to go down the traditional route using alembic copper stills using a one shot method to produce a London Dry Gin, keeping us closer to our roots and family history.
We're excited to be launching a brand-new Exeter Gin and Granny Garbutt Gin School and Bar above our distillery in Teignmouth. You can learn more and sign up for news on how to book below.