The Kentish distillery with ‘ultra-crafting’ and all things local at its heart is celebrating after bottling its first gin and vodka from the 2017 grain harvest.
A whole 10 days after leaving the field, the grains have become pure grain spirits Vela Vodka and Dockyard Gin.
‘It only takes half an hour by tractor or 90 minutes by boat for the grains to arrive from the fields on the neighbouring Isle of Sheppey to the distillery,’ Stephen Russell, co-founder of Copper Rivet Distillery, said.
‘This year we used a tractor, but next year we have our eye on hiring a fast rib to bring the harvest by river, as our beautiful distillery sits right on the edge of the river.’
Situated beside the River Medway in the Chatham Dockyard in Kent, the Copper Rivet Distillery is one of only six in the UK to distill from grain to glass.
‘Almost all other UK craft distillers buy their neutral spirit from a supplier, before adding their own botanicals,’ Russell added. ‘But at Copper Rivet Distillery we wanted to know exactly what goes into our spirit and its provenance so that we control every element of the quality.
‘We have contracted the local Burden family to grow our holy trinity of cereals for distilling – wheat, barley and rye. We believe that our latest distillation has resulted in Britain’s first vodka and gin from this year’s cereal harvest. This unique mix of local ingredients gives complexity and depth to all our spirits.’
Russell recently sat down with us to discuss all his distillery’s forthcoming plans.
Copper Rivet Distillery’s range currently includes Dockyard Gin £28.50/50cl, Vela Vodka £27.50/50cl, and a cask-finished grain spirit called Son of a Gun £30/50cl.
Masthouse Single Malt Whiskies will be available from 2020, once they have matured in barrel.