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Cuckoo Gin, a bespoke spirit with a strong sustainability message, to be launched by Brindle Distillery at Holmes Farm

20 March 2017

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Haleys’ client Brindle Distillery at Holmes Farm in Lancashire is about to launch Cuckoo Gin. Set to be a serious player in the expanding bespoke gin market, Cuckoo Gin is handcrafted in small batches at the independent distillery created by Holmes Farm.  Located in the historical village of Brindle in rural Lancashire, the distillery is housed in a renovated barn and traditional red brick buildings, and has sustainability and eco-friendly principles at its heart.

Why Cuckoo Gin?  ‘The name was an obvious choice for us,’ says, Mark Long, co-founder of the business. ‘The story of the Brindle Cuckoo goes back to the middle-ages. According to local folklore, one spring morning, on hearing the distinctive cuckoo call in the local fields, the villagers of Brindle hatched a plan to keep the cuckoo in the village. Believing it would bring them good farming weather not just for the spring but all year round, the locals set about building a wall around the field where the cuckoo was located. It is said that if the wall had been built just two stones higher that the villagers would have succeeded but instead the cuckoo escaped and their plan was foiled. To this day anyone ‘born n bred’ in Brindle is known as a Brindle Cuckoo, so we felt it only right that we follow in this tradition for this bespoke gin so lovingly born and bred at the Brindle Distillery’.

‘Most of the raw materials that go into making the bespoke spirits in the Brindle Distillery range are locally sourced and grown on Holmes Farm. ‘We grow our own crops in our fields and our natural artesian aquifer delivers fresh spring water to the distillery. To give our spirits their distinctive taste, we use sustainably and ethically sourced botanicals from here and across the World,’ explains Mark Long.

And the sustainability message goes further. Maggie, the sophisticated hand-built copper column still used to produce Cuckoo Gin, is heated with renewable energy biomass boilers thereby putting all waste materials to good use. Byproducts of the distilling process are fed to Holmes Farm pedigree cattle and free-range chickens, and straw from the barley is used for their bedding as well as in packaging to keep the bottles safe in transit. Any natural waste material is composted and spread on the fields to enrich the soil for growing next year’s grain.

Domestic gin sales hit £1.1bn in 2016 with the equivalent of 34m bottles sold last year, an increase of 12% on 2015. Gin exports have risen by 32%, or £114m, over the past five years. The Wine and Spirit Trade Association predicts that 2017 exports will pass £500m at the current growth rate.  New-style gins and premium mixers have gained massive popularity with a new and younger audience both in the UK and worldwide.

Michael Lucas, Director at Haleys Business Advisers says, ‘We’ve worked with the family at Holmes Farm for several years and it’s a pleasure to see the growth and development of the businesses. The decision to diversify has been key to that growth. We greatly admire the way the businesses have kept sustainability at their core and this has been a driving force behind the development of the Brindle Distillery. We can’t wait for our first taste of Cuckoo Gin!’

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