Distillation of Hayman’s gins is to be moved from Essex to London where the Hayman family first started making spirits over 150 years ago.
The new distillery will be housed inside a period brick warehouse in Balham in south-west London – less than four miles from where chairman Christopher Hayman’s great grandfather, James Burrough, set up in 1863.
The first batches of Hayman’s flagship London Dry Gin are scheduled to come off the stills in autumn this year after a substantial refurbishment of the site.
The move marks the culmination of a long-held ambition to return to the city after Christopher launched Hayman’s Gin in 2004 with his children James and Miranda.
The range, distributed by Love Drinks, comprises the London dry gin, Old Tom, Family Reserve and Sloe Gin, which are currently produced at the Hayman’s distillery in Witham in Essex.
Christopher said: “I’ve made no secret over the years of my ambition to move distillation of our range of English gins back to London. After several years of growth and continued interest in our story, I’m delighted we’re now at the stage where this has become a real possibility.
“The increased capacity of the new site will allow us to share our range of traditional English Gins with ever more people both at home in the UK and with our many friends and partners all around the world.”
Located moments from Balham High Road, the new distillery will provide room for a training area and consumer events space, which will be used to bring the Hayman family’s long association with English gin to life and to showcase the traditional two-day distillation process still employed by the brand.
Jonathan Gibson joins the business as brand director after previous roles at whisky maker Compass Box and brewer BrewDog to manage the site and to lead the development of the brand in the UK and overseas.
James Hayman said: “We have spent the last 18 months searching for the right building to house our new distillery. We are thrilled to be moving back to London, which fulfils a conversation dad and I had back in 2004.
“This will be more than a distillery for us – it is a home that allows us to entertain, to educate and to share our family’s ongoing passion for distilling English gin the traditional way.
“I am delighted that Jonathan has joined us and I look forward to working with him on developing and realising our ambitions for the distillery and for our range of English gins.”
James Burrough’s original distillery in Cale Street in Chelsea became famous for its Beefeater gin. Its success led to the distillery moving to a larger site in Lambeth and then to Kennington where it continues to be made to this day – now part of drinks group Pernod Ricard.