New Copper Rivet distillery to open this summer

Claire Dodd

Claire Dodd

30 June 2016

A new ‘grain-to-glass’ distillery, set to produce a range of spirits from single malts to an unaged grain spirit specifically designed to mix in cocktails, is set to open in Kent this summer.

Copper Rivet – the brainchild of family team Bob Russell, and sons Matthew and Stephen – will open in Chatham’s Historic Dockyard in August.

The initial core range will consist of a single malt whisky called Masthouse, Dockyard Gin, Vela Vodka and an unaged grain spirit, Son of a Gun.

The Russells have pledged to keep the business entirely local by sourcing everything from raw grains to the stills themselves from nearby producers.

The complete spirits-making process, from milling, brewing and fermentation of the malts and grains, distilling, resting and maturing of the spirits, to bottling and packaging, will all be done on site.

Stephen Russell said: 'In today’s society, where everything is about repackaging and upselling, there’s a consumer revolution taking place.

'Consumers are asking for bespoke and hand-crafted alternatives to mass-produced products. It’s really satisfying to feel we’re playing a part in this revolution by creating something of real quality, from scratch, that consumers can discover, savour and enjoy.'

Matthew Russell added: 'Chatham Maritime and the dockyard [have] an incredible heritage of craftsmanship, industry and innovation. We’re hoping to replicate and reinvent this proud tradition by producing exceptional gins, whiskies and vodkas from scratch in bespoke stills, wrought right here in Chatham, with the same skill that local craftsmen once fashioned world-class ships.'

Though production is being kept strictly local, the products are  aimed at both a local and international market.

Work is due to reach completion on the distillery by August, which will open for a limited number of exclusive preview tours by prior arrangement from July.

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