Rural Business Case Study: Forest Gin
“As a tiny distillery, it is amazing for us to see Forest Gin available around the world. From being a hobby in our kitchen, to become the only gin in the world to be awarded two separate double-gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirit Awards and now being available throughout Japan, it’s been an incredible journey.”
Karl Bond, Director
The business was set up in 2015 by husband and wife, Karl and Lindsay Bond, a truly family company whose daughter Harriet (aged 8) is an expert in knowing the best spots for foraging wild bilberries and raspberries which along with Peak District spring water, moss and ferns are used to flavour their gin. Their goal is to make the best tasting gin, using the finest locally sourced ingredients where possible. The business has remained true to this aim and does as much as possible by hand – right down to the bottling in batches of 85 at a time into their unique bespoke porcelain bottle handmade in Stoke.
In 2016, Forest Gin was awarded an unprecedented two separate double-gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirit Awards. These awards are the highest accolade within the spirits industry and Forest Gin is now the only gin with this accolade placing it amongst the world’s finest spirits.
In their early days, production was undertaken at home in Langley with a dream to expand and relocate into the nearby Macclesfield Forest, the source of their key ingredients. With our support, this dream turned to reality with the recent relocation to their new Forest Distillery in the beautiful Cheshire Peak District.
Forest Gin is now available in a range of premium retail outlets such as Harvey Nichols stores throughout the country and The Conran Shop in London. Alongside this, Forest Gin is currently the only premium gin served by Virgin Trains’ First Class Lounge in Euston, as well being the gin of choice in many of the UK’s best Michelin-starred restaurants.
The Skills & Growth Company* also supported the business with their growth and encouraged Karl and Lindsay to look into export opportunities for their gin and referred them to the Department for International Trade’s Exporting is GREAT programme. As a result, they are now selling Forest Gin into France, Germany, Switzerland and recently secured a further export deal to over 100 outlets across Japan following the Prime Minister’s trade mission to strengthen ties with Tokyo.
We will continue to support Forest Gin with their future growth plans for their new premises and new gin varieties including an Earl Grey infusion and even whisky. The premises are licenced so if you are out enjoying Macclesfield Forest pay Forest Gin a visit.
*Please note this case study was published before The Skills & Growth Company was brought back into the Council’s Economic Development Service.