Mark Ludmon reports on the new distillery and a new look for Hayman’s Gin
The descendants of pioneering 19th-century gin maker James Burrough have achieved their dream of bringing production back to London. James and Miranda Hayman and their father Christopher Hayman have unveiled the impressive new distillery for Hayman’s Gin in Balham in south London, less than four miles away from where the family’s first distillery opened in 1863.
“It has been a long-standing ambition for me, my sister Miranda and our father to bring the family distillery back to London – where our story first started over 150 years ago,” James said. “There are few if any other distillers who still produce gin the way we do – bringing together the 19th-century recipes handed down through five generations of our family with a true English two-day distillation process. The new site provides a wonderful space from which we can share our story, educate, entertain and of course sample our range of ‘True English Gins’.”
Launched 14 years ago, the Hayman’s Gin brand has until now been produced in Witham in Essex which will continue to be home to the company’s bottling plant. The new Weir Road location, which was once a brewery and more recently a warehouse, has been completely refurbished, with a homely interior inspired by the original distillery in the 1860s being part of a house in Cale Street in Chelsea. It features a stylish mezzanine bar, laboratory, lounge area and large tasting table, providing a modern venue for consumer tours and trade visits, including bartender education under head of advocacy Tim Homewood (pictured below).
The original Hayman’s 450-litre still from Essex, named Marjorie in memory of Christopher’s mother, has made the journey to south London, set up alongside two new stills called Miranda and Karin. These will allow for an increase in production of the Hayman’s range which is led by Hayman’s London Dry Gin along with Old Tom, Sloe, Gently Rested and Royal Dock gins.
The investment in the new distillery coincides with a new look for the brand, created by drinks packaging specialist Stranger & Stranger. Featuring a contemporary colour palate paired with period English typography, it is designed to reflect the Haymans’ commitment to the “True English Gin” style while also signalling a new chapter for the brand. With elements on each pack produced using custom illustrations from a traditional English woodcut artist, the designs reflect the hand-crafted approach used in distilling the Hayman’s range.
James said: “It was important that the new look reflected our heritage and traditional distilling approach whilst also looking to the future with a more contemporary palate that catches the eye and creates real presence back of bar. Our family have been distilling True English Gin for over 150 years – there is a great deal of history there which we are proud of, but we also see a big future for the style. We’re delighted to see the new packaging reflect that.”