Gin has become the trendy, go-to drink in recent years, thanks in part to its versatility. It goes with fruit, vegetables, and spices, so it enjoys many variations to keep spirit-drinkers coming back time and time again. And the UK certainly is a returning customer when it comes to gin, having bought more than 66 million bottles of it in 2018. Plus, the number of gin distilleries within the UK has more than doubled in the last six years.
The gin trend seems to be here to stay. If you’re looking to get in on it and start making money from gin, there are a number of things to be aware of. From recipes to business energy costs, we’re here to help guide you through your venture!
The lure of gin
If you want to be successful in the gin business, you need to understand the source of its comeback. For this we must travel back to the early noughties and the rise of ‘cocktail culture’. As bartenders began experimenting with different flavours and recipes, gin — a spirit known for its versatility — took centre stage.
As the years have gone by, customers have developed an increasingly discerning palette. The focus on the process and the quality of ingredients became more important than ever. When combined, these factors created the perfect storm for the advent of the ‘ginaissance’.
There have also been external influences on the gin business. Up until 2008, the Gin Act (which outlawed small scale-gin distilleries in London) was still in operation. After a lengthy legal battle with HMRC, the law was repealed. This paved the way for craft distilleries to begin trading their own unique brands of artisan gin.
A new business route
UK gin exports have enjoyed a 32 per cent rise, thanks in part to the lifting of these strict laws. But despite the drink’s success, launching a successful gin brand is still no easy feat — especially given that competition is growing year on year and worries about finding a safe and sufficient energy supply can make it difficult for businesses to get off the ground. Whilst there’s little than can be done to prevent competitor growth, there are ways to maximise profits:
Groundwork is vital in any business venture, old or new. In such a rapidly growing industry, it’s vital you keep up to date with market developments. Not only will this give you an insightful ongoing business advantage, but it can also help you recognise niche or growth opportunities in advance – giving you the edge on the competition.
Creating the perfect recipe
Whether you want to go for a flavoured gin or a Dutch gin, it’s important to decide your recipe well in advance. Generally speaking, craft gin distilleries tend to use a ‘distilled’ or ‘one shot’ method. This is typically more hands-on, as it requires the manual adding of botanical ingredients over time. It can also be more time consuming and energy intensive, needing various ‘stills’ to match what larger distilleries could produce in one batch. But, as more time and attention has gone into the final product, it’s likely to have a superior flavour.
Setting up shop
Consider the need for space that comes with equipment and such. Renting the right premises in convenient locations can be costly. As a result, emerging distilleries tend to look for more remote spaces, with better availability and cheaper rent. Off-grid locations are popular – so distillers often need to find reliable, alternative energy resources to ensure that batch production is as efficient as possible.
Energy can be expensive for a business. If you’re opening an off-grid distillery — especially one currently relying on oil — LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) gas bottles could provide a dependable, cost-effect energy supply that allows you to brew on demand. Not only is LPG a cleaner, economical and more efficient fuel, but it also has the lowest CO2 emissions of any fossil fuel — lowering your distillery’s carbon footprint.