Britain’s longest-serving gin family has brought its production back to London and it might not have been possible without the support of the on-trade. Holly Motion reports
Hayman Distillers is bringing its 150-year expertise back to the capital after upping sticks (again). This move will mean more products for us and it turns out we, the on-trade, have given Hayman’s more than a helping hand along the way, according to co-owner James Hayman.
‘The on-trade has been a cornerstone of the gin renaissance,’ the fifth generation family member tells Imbibe. ‘It is now common to see a wide selection of gins in a number of bars. I remember the first time I went to Graphic Bar in Golden Square, London, about eight years ago. They had a whole line-up of gins, which was quite unique at the time. A lot has changed since then – today it is common to see a wide selection of gins in most bars and restaurants.’
Hayman’s has not only managed to compete with the wide selection, it has consistently reported UK growth for the past nine years.
‘Even in this busy gin market the on-trade remembers us for being the pioneers of returning some forgotten styles of English Gin such as Hayman’s Old Tom Gin,’ Hayman says.
‘With London dry, the team tried to stay true to the English style while using an old family recipe and process. People see Hayman’s as the benchmark for English gin. Hayman’s is still made in very small batches, and we use our longstanding family processes and recipes to gently distil each batch. It’s a true English gin!’
Hayman says this authenticity rather than trend-watching has kept it a bartender and consumer favourite.
‘People today are more discerning in what they drink than 10 years ago,’ he says. ‘They want to know what they are drinking, where it is made and possibly even visit the distillery to see how and where it is made for themselves. As much as there is talk about 0% abv at present, I think recent gin growth figures speak for themselves.’
So, the brand spanking new distillery won’t be pumping out the non-alcoholic juice then?
‘We are a gin rectifier and gin can’t legally be sold below 37.5% abv,’ Hayman quickly adds. ‘We focus on helping people enjoy gin cocktails in the right manner.’
After 30 months of planning, the new Balham distillery opens on 1 March.
‘We can’t wait to open the doors to our new home and share the story of our true English gin with many more people.’