One small step, one giant leap!
Maidstone Distillery was delighted to learn in July that its planning application for the conversion of Unit 5 The Market Buildings into a Distillery and Bar was accepted. We feel this location is the perfect starting point for the Distillery. It is attractive with high ceilings and plenty of large windows. The Market Buildings is a historical site that has played an important role in the town’s history and it’s right in the centre of Maidstone which means it’s easy to reach by car, foot or train.
Refurbishment will begin soon.
Welcome to our eight newsletter and to those who have joined us recently as well as our existing readership, thank you for all your support and encouragement. The Maidstone Distillery community continues to grow and we are humbled with the interest shown from each person. You are a huge part of this Distillery and we are delighted to be sharing this journey with you.
Ranscombe Wild – A new gin inspired by our local wild plants
Maidstone Distillery excitedly unveiled our plans for one of our main spirits at a unique Founding Members event. Our contemporary gin is a celebration of our landscape and wild plants. As well as tasting fabulous this gin will support the amazing conservation work of Plantlife, Europe’s largest wild plant conservation charity whose flagship reserve is right here in Kent. The charity focuses on promoting the wild plants that can be found all around us, and of note was recently behind the National Road Verge Campaign. For us the contemporary gin had to have a strong narrative, it had to speak of our landscape and of the local botanicals that would flavour it. This partnership represents something very special and in supporting Plantlife’s great work we have been given exclusive access to forage for some very special plants at Ranscombe Farm.
As we work up the recipe we hope to use Calamint with its exciting zesty citrus-mint flavour, Wild marjoram with its delicate spice and herbal notes, as well as others like Red Clover, Poppy Seed and Beech – all complimenting this exciting taste of the wild! In every bottle purchased we will donate money to Plantlife to support their invaluable work so that we can all enjoy the wild plants and the gin inspired by them. As part of this exciting partnership, we are pleased to announce that all Founding Members are entitled to 50% off Plantlife annual membership, further details will be sent to Members shortly.
A special place overlooking our history
To help launch our partnership with Plantlife we held our first Founding Member event at Ranscombe Farm and with Plantlife we foraged for the special plants that will be added to our contemporary gin. The reserve is located on a beautiful piece of Kent countryside, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that looks down on the River Medway as it passes through the North Downs. The River Medway would have transported spirits from the Maidstone Distilleries of the past destined for London and distribution around the world – we couldn’t have thought of a more inspirational setting! The event we hope gave our Founding Members a sneek peek behind the scenes of our plans for the Distillery, a look at some of our bottle branding concepts as well as the chance to play an important role in collecting local wild plants that will be used in our recipe.
There have been more exciting developments at Maidstone Distillery with one of our other launch spirits – we desperately want to tell you more, but discussions are ongoing and we hope to be in a position to tell you more very soon.
A Shared Past
We love learning about our fascinating Distilling legacy. We recently met Barry Yates, a Maidstone native. He told us how he came to work at the Maidstone Distillery located on Hart Street and his experiences of working there. In 1958, aged 15 years old, he saw an advert at the Maidstone Market advertising vacancies at the Distillery. He was drafted in to fulfil a huge order of Morella Cherry Brandy destined for America. He remembers working at a revolving table and, using a mallet, pushed corks into the bottle tops. In the years that followed he also remembers drinking and dancing in the Maidstone bars of the day enjoying popular gin and oysters. We raise a glass to Barry, he’s proud of his county town and the spirits made here. Its time for Maidstone Distillery to make spirits of world renown once more.
Our Story and Social Media
It’s our best intention to keep you up to date and interested via our social media, so that you can follow the unique journey of our business start-up. This newsletter is the best way to stay informed and you can check out previous issues of our newsletter on our Website blog.
Thanks once again for coming along on our journey. Please help spread the word of Maidstone Distillery and feel free to contact us at any time.
Pride In Our Spirit Since 1785.