New drink is '˜inspired by Northumberland'
It all started with a few drinks and a shed-full of gin which turned out to be rather good.
Now, a few months down the line, business partners Andrew Petherick and Neil Osborne are toasting the launch of a new, hand-crafted drinks product.
Three weeks ago, the pair unveiled Alnwick Gin and the alcoholic beverage, which is handcrafted locally, is already proving popular with punters.
The first batch – launched a week early due to demand – was snapped up, with orders being made both locally and further afield, from Europe, the USA and Tanzania.
Andrew admits it is early days, but if the first few weeks are anything to go by, Alnwick Gin looks like it will be a recipe for success.
He said: “It is exciting and we will see where the journey takes us. Back in February, I left my last business and I didn’t know what to do with myself. One night, Neil and I got talking over a few drinks and he said that he had been making gin for years and he had a shed-load of it.
“I am a bit of a gin snob, but I tried it and it was absolutely fantastic. We decided to go into business together and Alnwick Gin was born. Neil looks after the production and I look after the sales and marketing.
“We went through the legal stuff and ended up launching a week earlier than expected after I put a post on Facebook to capture some pre-launch interest and it went crazy.
“We sold 72 bottles within the first hour and we ended up selling the first batch a week ahead of schedule. It has gone from strength to strength.”
The lads, from Alnwick, own the parent company Northumberland Spirit and are proud that the drink is made in the town.
Many of the ingredients are foraged locally and the drink is made of carefully-selected blends of rosehip, lavender and fennel, among other things, complemented by a few added extras courtesy of the Gin Master, aka Neil.
Andrew said: “It has a very smooth aftertaste due to the small-batch, hand-crafted nature of our production. A lot of people who don’t like gin have said that they like our gin. It is a high-quality product and when you mix it with the right mixers, it is a fantastic drink. Our strapline is that the gin is ‘inspired by Northumberland’.”
Keeping it local is certainly the lads’ mantra, with Alnwick Gin being sold in numerous venues throughout Northumberland, including the Taste of Northumbria shop in Alnwick.
But the team is also spreading its wings, with Fenwick, in Newcastle, stocking the drink.
The lads have teamed up with Hexham-based Fentimans to launch a Christmas gift pack in a fortnight, with a bottle of Alnwick Gin and Fentimans mixer.
They have also created a limited-edition, nautical-themed Williams Expedition Gin. It launches tomorrow in aid of Blyth Tall Ships project. Visit williamsexpeditiongin.co.uk to buy a bottle.