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Get on board with the rise of gin distilleries

14th May 2019 Print

In the past few years, the popularity of gin has soared, and the beverage has become a fashionable choice for drinkers old and young. Often paired with fruits, vegetables and spices to complement its flavour, gin has become the go-to tipple for spirit lovers everywhere.

An estimated 66 million bottles of the juniper-based drink were sold across the UK in 2018. And the total number of gin distilleries in the UK has now reached 315, more than double the number there was six years ago.

So, what has changed for the drink once known as ‘mother’s ruin’? And with energy costs a major concern for most businesses, how can budding entrepreneurs capitalise on this lucrative but energy-intensive process – especially in off-grid locations? The energy experts at Flogas offer some industry insights, and explain why an LPG Gas Tank could come in handy for aspiring gin distillers.

An era of ‘ginaissance’  

Understanding why customers are flocking back to gin bars is key for capitalising successfully on its new popularity. For this we must travel back to the early noughties and the rise of ‘cocktail culture’. As bartenders began experimenting with different flavours and recipes, gin – a spirit known for its versatility – took centre stage.

The consumer palate has become increasingly refined. The focus on the process and the quality of ingredients became more important than ever. When combined, these factors created the perfect storm for the advent of the ‘ginaissance’.

Other factors have played a role in the boom in gin sales. Up until 2008, the Gin Act (which outlawed small scale-gin distilleries in London) was still in operation. After a lengthy legal battle with HMRC, the law was repealed. This paved the way for craft distilleries to begin trading their own unique brands of artisan gin.

Garnishing new opportunities

UK gin exports have risen by over 32%, as the red tape around gin distilleries has been gradually removed. But despite the drink’s success, launching a successful gin brand is still no easy feat – especially given that competition is growing year on year and worries about finding a safe and sufficient energy supply can make it difficult for businesses to get off the ground.

As the market grows at an unprecedented rate, here’s some hints on maximising profits: 

1. Know your market

Even long-established businesses need to do their market homework. In such a rapidly growing industry, it’s vital you keep up to date with market developments. Not only will this give you an insightful ongoing business advantage, but it can also help you recognise niche or growth opportunities in advance – giving you the edge on the competition. 

2. Raising the perfect glass

Position your product well, whether it’s a London dry gin, Dutch gin, Holland gin or even a flavoured gin liqueur. Generally speaking, craft gin distilleries tend to use a ‘distilled’ or ‘one shot’ method. This is typically more hands-on, as it requires the manual adding of botanical ingredients over time.

Often, distilling can require specific conditions to assure quality. But, as more time and attention has gone into the final product, it’s likely to have a superior flavour. 

3. Finding the right location 

Many potential distillery owners do not take into account how much space they will need for equipment. Renting the right premises in convenient locations can be costly. As a result, emerging distilleries tend to look for more remote spaces, with better availability and cheaper rent. Off-grid locations are popular – so distillers often need to find reliable, alternative energy resources to ensure that batch production is as efficient as possible. 

4. Creating an efficient GnT 

Off-grid distilleries could consider switching to LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), instead of relying on oil, as it can be more cost effective and dependable, allowing you to meet supply demand.  Not only is LPG a cleaner, economical and more efficient fuel, but it also has the lowest CO2 emissions of any fossil fuel – lowering your distillery’s carbon footprint. 

Energy intensive off grid businesses should consider using bulk LPG tanks, available in cylinder form for small scale use, to keep you brewing.