With March being Food Month here at TechRound, we will be featuring a large variety of companies to watch in 2022, from those which specialise in health foods, meat alternatives – and alcohol! Companies included in our list range from bars founded by entrepreneurs featured on Dragons Den to companies offering wine tasting events, distilling their own gin and freeze drying fruits for at-home cocktail clubs!
Here you can see TechRound’s list of Alcohol Companies to watch in the year ahead, with brands featured including:
- Tomelier, founded by Tom Newbold
- St Maur, founded by The Earl & Countess of Yarmouth, William & Kelsey Seymour
- Napton Cidery, founded by Jolyon & Charlotte Olivier
- That Gin Company, founded by Chantelle Lee & Steve Bazell
- Neitiv, founded by Vaani & Keeran VetriKo
- Tom Savano, founded by James Kerslake
- Soho Street Cocktails, founded by Paul Scarratt
- Nightcap, founded by Sarah Willingham
- 58 Gin, MD Carmen O’Neal
- Brookie’s Gin, founded by Eddie Brook
- Henley Gin, founded by Jacob Wilson
- Green Room Distillery, founded by Duncan McLean & Seb Frost
- Butcombe Brewing Co, CEO Jonathan Lawson
- In the Welsh Wind, founded by Ellen Wakelam & Alex Jungmayr
- Schwarz Mönch, founded by David Waterhouse
- Black Crowned Gin, founded by Temi Shogelola
- Two Brooks, founded by Francesca Bruni
- VCL Vintners, founded by Benjamin Lancaster & Stuart Thom
- Fruits for Drinks, MD Mirella Cestaro
- All Things Drinks, founded by Dimple Athavia
- Mainbrace, founded by David Haigh, Alex Haigh and Richard Haigh
- Outpour, founded by Joanne Koukis
- Divine Gin, founded by Ray & Rachel Woolhead
- Thatchers, founded by William Thatcher
- Three Wrens Gin, founded by Nick Wadeson
- Pirates Grog Rum, founded by Beth Jones
- M0THER, founded by Alishia Thomas
For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.
Founder(s): Tom Newbold
Tomelier are specialists in bespoke wine tasting events; virtually and in person.
They can host a range of tasting events to suit customers’ needs, whether that be face to face at home, place of work or even holiday accommodation, or virtually from the comfort of your own sofa.
Want to know the basics? Want more confidence? Or just want a bit of fun after a long day? Tomelier can help!
If you’re an individual looking to taste some wine, perhaps as a wine club or with a group of friends or family; a business looking for a treat for your clients or for some fun with your team; or even a venue looking to boost your wine sales; then Tomelier are here for you.
Founder(s): The Earl & Countess of Yarmouth, William & Kelsey Seymour
Multi award-winning St Maur is a small batch premium elderflower liqueur handcrafted in Alcester, Warwickshire, from responsibly sourced ingredients, with elderflowers gathered in ancient family-owned woodlands.
St Maur is the creation of The Earl and Countess of Yarmouth, William and Kelsey Seymour who first produced it uniquely for their wedding guests at Ragley Hall in Alcester three years ago before deciding to turn it into a full-time family business at the start of lockdown.
William, 28, is the eldest son of the Marquess of Hertford, and grew up at Ragley Hall, his family’s seat since the 18th century. But St Maur signals an exciting new direction for the Earl who is driven by his vision to build not just a livelihood, but a ‘new legacy’ to be proud of for his two sons.
Steeped in history, St Maur is the surname used by the family in medieval times which has ancestors who rode with William the Conqueror, but by the time Jane Seymour married Henry VIII the name had changed. The wild blossoms used to make St Maur are hand-picked by William and Kelsey and their friends and family in the shadow of trees which grew when their ancestors were young. The co-ordinates on the bottles will take you to Ladies Wood in the bucolic Warwickshire countryside, and to an elder grove where the elderflowers are picked early summer.
There’s also a red-legged partridge on the bottle, a bird successfully introduced to England in the 19th century by an ancestor Francis Seymour, the 5th Marquess, and now the brand’s mascot. Described as ‘a little drop of England’s heart,’ this business is blossoming on the back of the couple’s own love story but is now growing – with a recent expansion into new premises in Alcester so the production process can be handled on site. Indeed, the couple’s own personal journey and entrepreneurial ethos underpins their product.
In the less than 18 months since its launch, St Maur has already won four awards – The Great Taste Award 2 Star rating; International Spirits Challenge Silver Award; The World Liqueur Awards ‘Best English Floral’ and, most recently, Gold at Las Vegas Global Spirits Awards.
They’re keen to give back to the environment too, including a commitment to pick no more than 30% of the wild elderflower blossom. St Maur advocates responsible drinking, and the choice of better quality.
“We wanted a drink that would capture the spirit of that lovely day. Drawing on old family recipes handed down to us, we created St Maur and we named it after our family heritage. We also gave it the colour of love,” said William.
Founder(s): Jolyon & Charlotte Olivier
Napton Cidery is a family-run independent and award-winning cidery in Warwickshire, which has launched a new limited-edition cider to celebrate finally welcoming the first visitors to its taproom – 16 months on from its planned launch.
The day has been a long time coming for the owners of Napton Cidery, whose grand opening plans were suddenly stalled just days before the first Covid-19 lockdown.
They lost more than £100,000 in revenue after being forced to cancel planned events, workshops and tasting tours at the venue, instead being forced to take all their trade online. But two hugely successful crowdfunding campaigns, the second of which has just closed, helped mount a post-pandemic recovery of their business, leading the couple to once again revisit their plans for expansion. And they have now also launched their new Tasting Tours and series of live events including comedy, music and quiz nights.
The business started life as a hobby nine years ago when the couple were first introduced to the taste of craft cider on a family holiday to Cornwall. Returning home to with an apple tree, they soon started experimenting in their back garden.
Today, the team harvests, presses, bottles and distributes more than 100,000 litres of craft cider a year, using 17 types of apples from six orchards across the Herefordshire region.
Central to Napton’s growing popularity among customers is its strong sustainability ethos, from harvesting through to packaging. All of its apples come from traditional unsprayed orchards, organic and biodiverse growers, so no unnatural chemicals are introduced into the ecosystem. The cider is also naturally fermented using only wild yeasts and packaged in recyclable materials and all ingredients sourced as locally as possible.
The shop also sells perry, juices, spirits and vinegars as well as new products the team have been working on this year – including Apple Cider Brandy, canned ciders and branded collectors’ glasses. There’s also the opportunity to sample them all!
That Gin Company
Founder(s): Chantelle Lee & Steve Bazell
That Gin Company specialises in having products which are uniquely made to order on site, ensuring something for every palate is guaranteed from the 100 different flavour infusions stocked – from the traditional juniper and floral gins through to fruity offerings such as Pineapple, Watermelon, Passionfruit and Sicilian Orange and, for spice lovers, Pink Pepper, Black Pepper and Cardamon or Jalapenos gin.
Those with a sweet tooth will be able to choose from a desserts range, including Cherry Bakewell, Black Forest Gateau and Biscoff. Drinkers can also select from That Gin Company’s own blend gin as well as the UK Best Sellers, Local Gins, International Gins and Gins with a story as well. It opened in June last year and is now growing its offering with its own gin brand, also available online.
Founder(s): Vaani & Keeran VetriKo
Launched in Spring 2021, Neitiv is the UK’s first coconut flower drops beverage company. Focusing on three key areas; taste, sustainability & empowerment, Neitiv introduces a unique flavour profile to the beer category with the launch of its first product, Coconut Flower Beer. With the ethos of empowering all people to enjoy beer without the negative stereotypes, Neitiv is on a mission to make beer accessible for all. Sustainability is also key to the brand, and it aims to be the most sustainable option on the market through its fully recyclable packaging and harvesting techniques.
The lager beer range is available to buy online in packs of eight (RRP £34.40), or a Discovery Pack/Gift Set which includes one of each variant, a Coconut Shell Candle, a Coconut Shell Cup/Mandala Coaster/Bamboo Straw and a free Mandala Mindfulness Colouring Card with a meditation guide (starting at RRP £27.90). The Discovery Packs are also available for purchase from Amazon.
Vaani VetriKo, Co-Founder of Neitiv comments; “This International Women’s Day we are celebrating Neitiv turning one by launching our Red Dot Project which aims to combat period poverty. We chose to contribute to abolishing period poverty because as a brand we want to empower all people and we recognise the importance of brands using their position to contribute to effecting positive change.”
“Neitiv’s ethos aims to ensure that all people should be able to enjoy a beer. Over the coming months we’re particularly looking forward to launching The Red Dot Project through sales of our Coconut Flower Beer range. We will be rolling out The Red Dot initiative across the UK and we have plans to expand it to all locations where you can purchase our drinks, including where our producers are located abroad. We also have plans to increase female visibility in the craft beer industry further down the line through training and employment. ”
For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.
Founder(s): James Kerslake
Tom Savano are one of the fastest growing, and most exciting drinks start-ups to emerge from the Covid landscape. It’s widely accepted in the alcohol industry, that RTD (ready-to-drink) is the hot new child on the block, and is set to be the fastest growing category in the global alcoholic beverages marketplace for at least the next 5 years. (IWSR research).
As consumers spend more and more time at home, and drinking habits change around the world, there is a huge rotation away from beer and wines, with cocktails and craft spirits part of long-term premiumisation trends, and driving most of the growth in the industry.
Tom Savano – the creation of founder James Kerslake from New Zealand – launched in December 2019 to tap into these trends, as well as a deep aspirational urge in all of us to travel, and have more authentic experiences. With drinks that only use craft spirits from independent distilleries, and rich travel stories behind each one, Tom Savano are not only laying the groundwork for a much bigger focus on sustainability, but also raising awareness and education on the world of craft spirits.
With 12 industry awards, Best New Product of 2020 and a range listing with John Lewis, Tom Savano have grown from a kitchen start-up, to a 2500 square foot production factory in just 12 months, with pipeline deals in discussion with Virgin Atlantic, Marriott hotels and international export.
Backed by a team of passionate angel investors, Tom Savano are completing their second seed round for £600k, with big plans for 2022. Their ambition is no less than to be recognised as the number one premixed cocktail brand for quality and taste, globally. And with the speed they’ve come out of the starting blocks, combined with trade contracts under discussion, don’t bet against them.
Soho Street Cocktails
Founder(s): Paul Scarratt
Soho Street Cocktails is revolutionising the ready-to-drink cocktail market with each of their small-batch, craft cocktails delivering on bar-standard flavour for a fraction of the effort and price.
Founded by Paul Scarratt, who has over 27 years of experience in the drinks industry, Soho Street Cocktails aims to bring about the premiumisation of at-home cocktails. They currently offer zero-waste pouches of the following: Passionstar Martini, Espresso Martini, Raspberry Daiquiri and Piña Colada. To enjoy any of their drinks, all you need to do is pour, shake and serve!
Paul says, “Soho Street Cocktails came about as an inspired alternative to the overly sweet and low-quality cocktails available on the market. They are perfect for anyone who wants a high-quality drink without all the ingredients and equipment that comes alongside it.”
The concept behind the name comes from the desire to pay homage to London and the drinks created there. Both the Espresso Martini and the Pornstar Martini were created in Soho, by drinks legends Dick Bradsell and Douglas Ankrah, respectively. Soho is a vibrant and decadent place, filled with iconic cocktail bars, and Soho Street Cocktails seeks to replicate this energy in their products.
Soho Street Cocktails have been handcrafted with a ‘taste-first’ approach and there is truly nothing with this level of expertise and convenience out there, from the NFC (not from concentrate) ingredients to the long shelf life. These cocktail pouches offer consumers with first-class drinks in a matter of seconds and with no waste.
All Soho Street Cocktails are available in a 1.5L pouch and are between 9.5 – 12% ABV. Available to buy for £28.99 with Master of Malt.
Founder(s): Sarah Willingham
Nightcap will acquire, recapitalise and develop drinks-led concepts with significant potential across the UK.
In recent years we have seen fundamental shifts in both the hospitality industry and in consumer preferences. Large parts of the hospitality industry have been suffering from the burden of expensive rents and high levels of capital expenditure, discount offerings, increased food prices and a shift to home delivery, all of which have been accelerated by Covid-19. At the same time, consumer preferences – in particular those of millennials – are shifting away from mid-market hospitality chains to experience-led, quality nights out in unique, local style venues.
These factors have led to an increase in the number of available sites, decreases in rents, reductions in site premiums and capital expenditure and an increasing number of talented hospitality staff in the jobs market.
Nightcap’s strategy is simple: focused on easy to replicate scalable business models with nationwide rollout potential.
In the years to come, they believe that drinks-led business models that target a resilient millennial audience will have an exceptional opportunity to thrive alongside reduced competition, given their low operational break-even levels, uncomplicated business models and high return on capital.
Nightcap’s aim is to capitalise on this compelling opportunity to build a major drinks-led hospitality group.
With their team’s significant operational and acquisition-related experience, they believe that the timing of their strategy to make selective and targeted acquisitions of individual sites, and drinks-led hospitality brands, has rarely been better.
MD: Carmen O’Neal
58 Gin is an eco-conscious, sustainably focused distillery producing exceptional IWSC award-winning spirits.
The distillery, based in railway arches in Haggerston, is the UK Gin Producer of the Year (as awarded by the International Wine & Spirit Competition). As well as creating a core range of London Dry, Apple & Hibiscus, English Berry and Navy Strength Gin, plus the UK’s first gin-based hard seltzers, they also aim to demystify distillation through their on-site Gin School and online Make Your Own Gin service.
58 Gin was knocked by the pandemic but they pivoted fast and hard to start producing hand sanitiser – in just three days they had begun to supply the Met Police, NHS trust hospitals and Marie Curie Hospices, and in the 12 months from March 2020, produced over 50,000 bottles of Gin-Itizer.
Their commitment to running as sustainable an operation as possible is what really sets 58 Gin apart. 58 MD Carmen O’Neal is passionate about sustainable spirits and playing a role in cultivating more connectivity in the local community and in the spirits industry to champion change for the better.
Carmen says, “Unlike a rural distillery, we don’t have easy access to green space, so we have to approach sustainable production in a very creative way. For example, we have just had solar panels fitted above our office and we have created a ‘Green Wall’ which will allow us to grow different botanicals, like the bitters for a Negroni, on site.”
58 Gin’s most recent collective achievements include;
– Multi-award-winning spirits range including the 2021 Great Taste 3* Award
– First UK distillery to switch production to Hand Sanitiser in 2020
– Crowned UK Gin Producer of the Year 2020
– Named one of 50 Most Innovative Spirits Brands in 2020
Founder(s): Eddie Brook
From the spectacular confines of the Byron Bay Region, Cape Byron Distillery offers a range of products including their Brookie’s Dry and Slow Gin and their versatile little nutter Mac. by Brookie’s liqueur.
Cape Byron Distillery lies on the Brook family farm where they have personally invested great time and effort into regenerating the local rainforest over the course of the last 30 years. Sustainability, giving back to the community, and regeneration are the core principles that underlie the ethos of the distillery and their products.
The flavour notes that underpin Brookie’s Gin and make it a uniquely ‘natural’ gin are derived from ingredients and botanicals that are natively sourced from the harvest of the rainforest. Brookie’s Byron Dry Gin showcases these remarkable native ingredients and is a culminative collaboration between legendary master distiller Jim McEwan and co-founder Eddie Brook. Of the 25 botanicals that go into the making of the Dry Gin, 17 are native to the Byron Bay Region. These botanicals include Byron Sunrise Finger Limes, Aniseed Myrtle, Cinnamon Myrtle, Macadamia, Native River Mint, Native Raspberry and several others.
Cape Byron Distillery’s products have been met with international acclaim and have won several awards over the last few years. Among many other awards, the Byron Bay Distillery beat over 2000 entries and bagged gold for both its gins at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition for 3 years in a row showcasing the remarkable quality and distinctive yet intricate taste of its gins.
Their recent launches also include a limited edition Barrel-Aged Mac., RTD cocktails, Slow Passion Gin, Shirl the Pearl Kumquat Gin and a Brookie’s Byron Negroni. And there’s much more to come from this distillery!
For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.
Last month saw The Henley Distillery collect the Country Winner award for Best London Dry Gin in England for their Henley Gin, Classic Dry in Round One of The World Gin Awards 2022. Having only launched last summer, this is the second award win in as many months for The Henley Distillery. It follows hot on the heels of their triumph at The Spirits Business Gin Masters where they celebrated two medal wins, including a MASTER medal, the highest accolade possible, in the ‘Pink Gin’ category.
The small-batch, hand-crafted Henley Gins come in three flavours:
- Henley Gin, Classic Dry – The award-winning Classic Dry is a contemporary twist on a London Dry. The signature sipping gin builds on the familiar juniper foundation as citrusy flavours blossom from orange peel, lime leaves and lemongrass. Warmth flickers from the bold Szechuan peppercorns before mellowing with the deep, rich notes of cardamom and vanilla-like tonka beans to create a smooth, refined balance. RRP £40 (70 cl, 42% ABV).
- Henley Gin, Rhubarb & Orange – Deceptive in blushing pink, this single-shot, artisan gin has been layered with fresh hand-peeled orange zest and tart English rhubarb to create an elegant and refreshing gin. RRP £40 (70 cl, 42% ABV).
- Henley Gin, Oriental Spiced – This gin’s complex blend of rich spices is inspired by the Silk Road, combining long pepper and cubeb with fiery ginger and a hint of lemon zest. RRP £40 (70 cl, 42% ABV).
The Henley Distillery is one of the newest and most exciting distilleries in the UK. Based in a restored threshing barn just outside Henley-on-Thames, the Distillery was established by Jacob Wilson, who is one of the youngest Master Distillers in the country. Despite his young age, 27, Wilson’s CV is impressive. Now, as one of only a handful of distilleries in the UK owned and run by a Master Distiller, Wilson is showcasing leading edge, contemporary spirit innovation rooted firmly in traditional, artisan methods.
Green Room Distillery
Founder(s): Duncan McLean & Seb Frost
Multi-awarding winning Green Room Distillery was started in 2020 by two friends from the world of theatre, when Covid hit and stage doors closed.
Its unique, small batch spirits include a Small Batch Dry Gin, Flyman’s Strength Gin, Sloe Gin and Triple Filtered Vodka, all distilled, hand-filled, labeled and finished with a wax seal, ‘behind the scenes’ in London.
The premium Small Batch Dry Gin recently won Silver at the 2022 World Gin Awards. Each batch consists of only 42 bottles, distilled with 14 botanicals to create its unique flavour, including fresh orange, pink grapefruit and lime, alongside Grains of Paradise, cloves and cinnamon.
Flyman’s Strength Gin is their Navy-style expression – bottled at 57% – so-called, as a nod to the ‘flymen’ in theatres, who work high above the stage. It’s perfect for cocktails, especially a Gimlet.
Green Room’s Sloe Gin uses its award-winning gin, steeped with hand-picked sloes. Homemade sugar syrup is added at the end of the process to achieve its perfect level of sweetness.
Finally the Triple Filtered Vodka is made from Green Room’s own sugar based mash, fermented for two weeks, distilled six times, and triple-filtered through charcoal to deliver a unique sweet and smooth taste.
Green Room is working with Michelin starred restaurant Trinity to produce a series of seasonal gins. But its proudest collaboration to-date, is partnering with theatrical charity BACKUP, where £1 from every bottle sold is donated. BACKUP provides financial support to professionals in the entertainment industry who have fallen on hard times, which has been especially important since Covid.
Green Room Distillery also runs “No.9 Supper Club”, in collaboration with wine consultant Libby Brodie, and Chef Josh Dallaway. It takes place next to the distillery on the first Thursday of every month.
Butcombe Brewing Co
CEO: Jonathan Lawson
Butcombe Brewing Co (part of Liberation Group) has marked its foray into the No and Low drinks market with the launch of its very first draught and bottled low alcohol product – Goram IPA Zero (ALC less than 0.5%)
Mirroring the company’s original Goram IPA recipe, Goram IPA Zero is an easy-to-drink and refreshing ale made with a punchy blend of English, US and New Zealand hops which balance stone fruit, citrus and bitter notes. Named after Bristol’s legendary giant, Goram IPA Zero has all the strong, big flavours of a normal IPA but without the alcohol.
Marc McGuigan, Group MD, Brewing & Distribution, Liberation Group says: “Very often low alcohol ales can lack substance but our Goram IPA Zero packs a real punch. We’ve developed and tweaked the recipe and brewing process to ensure those wishing not to consume alcohol are able to enjoy a draught or bottled beer which is authentically produced and flavoured.”
According to IWSR Data, the No and Low market is predicted to grow by 34% by 2024 and it is expected that overall alcohol volume consumption in the UK will decline by 10% in the coming year.
Marc McGuigan continues: “The No and Low market is only going to grow in popularity as consumers demand more choice. It’s important for us as an award-winning brewery to ensure we’re part of this growing trend and create innovative products we know our customers are going to love. Goram IPA Zero fits into our drinks portfolio perfectly and adds a new dimension to our offering.”
Goram IPA Zero is available on draught and in 330ml bottles: https://butcombe.com/brewery-shop/
In the Welsh Wind
Founder(s): Ellen Wakelam & Alex Jungmayr
Since Ellen Wakelam and Alex Jungmayr founded In the Welsh Wind distillery in a converted cowshed in January 2018 the business has gone from strength to strength and now employs 15 staff, making award-winning gins both under the ‘In the Welsh Wind’ brand and for other brands and businesses as far afield as Japan. They are pioneering whisky made entirely in Wales from locally grown barley.
The distillery moved into an old pub on a prime location on the main Welsh coast road. After the initial COVID lockdown period, the business grew rapidly, through increased production and an improved visitor offering including gin making and gin tasting experiences. Recruitment to match this growth began in September 2020, including most recently, the appointment of a Sales and Export Manager to move the business to the forefront of the Welsh spirits industry.
The Welsh Wind Signature Style won a Gold Medal at the Gin Masters in 2021. A cask-aged version, Palo Cortado cask-aged gin, secured a Master in the Gin Masters 2021, and best matured gin in Wales at the World Gin Awards 2022. They are now focussing on their Welsh Origin Whisky – a product made entirely in Wales using barley grown within 10 miles of the distillery. While their own whisky matures, the distillery has been busy with independent bottlings – their first release is an 8 yr old Mackmyra finished in a Banyuls cask at the distillery.
Ellen and Alex started with a plan to produce 3,000 bottles of gin a year. Production in 2021 was circa 30,000 bottles, and 2022 is shaping up to be bigger again. It’s perhaps no surprise that Ellen was recognised at the NatWest Everywoman awards 2021 as the most inspiring woman in the UK running a business that has been trading for 3-5 years!
Founder(s): David Waterhouse
Schwarz Mönch has recently introduced it’s schwarzbier, a Black Lager style bier, well known in the European and US markets but little seen in the UK to the UK market.
Schwarz Mönch Bier is the highest rated Schwarzbier in the world 2018-2020 “Untappd“ beer rating app. It is the only Swiss beer on Untappd to ever be the highest rated in the world. It won a silver medal at the prestigious London Beer Competition 2019, against 35 countries in all categories of beer, and a gold medal 2019 in a Swiss Competition – Schwarzbier Category.
David Waterhouse, the founder, has had an extraordinary journey to get to this point. He was a sailor on tall ships from a young age, was a lone farmer on Bodmin moor, completed a stint as a racing driver, was a music festival organiser and he now has a hotel in the Swiss alps, where the bier was invented.
Now he’s come full circle back to the water, by bringing that bier back to London, based from his houseboat on the Thames.
For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.
Black Crowned Gin
Founder(s): Temi Shogelola
The Black Crowned Gin is named after the Black Crowned Crane, which is one of the national birds of Nigeria, where founder Temi Shogelola is from.
Black Crowned Gin was started because Temi identified two large gaps in the market. Firstly, a gin that is inclusive of botanicals, spices and fruits from Africa and the African Diaspora and, secondly, a gin brand founded by a Black woman. Black Crowned Gin is perfectly positioned to fill both.
In her first corporate job, Temi was advised to mingle with the senior managers and most of this took place in the pub after work. Temi did not feel comfortable drinking alcohol with colleagues so for the first few weeks she didn’t go. A colleague advised that if she wanted her contract extended, she needed to be more social, and it was recommended she go to the after-work drink. Temi would attend and order lemonade pretending that it was a gin and tonic. She kept this act going for a few weeks, during which time she made new friends and got her contract extended.
Temi decided to celebrate by trying a real gin and tonic, and as she describes it, it was love at first taste!
Hibiscus is the first flavour gin from Black Crowned Gin, which is an ode to one of Temi’s favourite novels and a non-alcoholic beverage called Zobo that she enjoyed as a child growing up in Nigeria. It’s crafted using traditional British gin infusions in combination with homemade West African gin mixes. Black Crowned Hibiscus Gin fuses botanicals and spices, like coriander and hibiscus to create something uniquely delicious!
This unique infusion of juniper, coriander, arrowroot, citrus peel, black cardamom and liquorice makes Black Crowned the perfect seasonal treat for those who like their drinks sweet and spicy!
Founder(s): Francesca Bruni
The idea behind craft drinks brand Two Brooks was born out of a lack of suitable options on the supermarket shelves.
Inspired by the revolution in the craft beer and craft gin sector, and supported by the premiumisation of the cocktail culture, Francesca and her two brothers (both 20 something year olds) and herself embarked on a mission to launch their dream drink. One that allowed them to socialise without compromise: a craft hard seltzer. Born in London & raised in chaos. Simple & natural.
Almost 2 years down the line, hard seltzers have established themselves in the country as one of the fastest growing product categories, and their small independent business is growing fast!
Two Brooks hard seltzers are crafted using only 3 ingredients, with quality and provenance at the core of the process. They use pure fruit spirit made from British apples to give them a smooth and slightly (but naturally) sweet spirit base. They then blend with gently sparkling water and only use 100% natural fruit flavourings.
No added sugars or artificial sweeteners, totally vegan and gluten free, and quite possibly the lowest calorie RTD – all entirely naturally. The result? A very crisp and refreshing drink that’s perfectly ‘sessionable’. Crisp, clean & craft.
Since the launch at the start of the pandemic, they’ve won a bunch of drinks award, and even started exporting abroad – they’re proud to be the first British hard seltzer in the Middle East, and are soon launching in The Netherlands! They’ve recently inked a distribution deal with LWC, the UK’s largest independent drinks wholesaler, and have signed an exciting line up of festivals for summer 2022.
Drinks are now available on a selection of online marketplaces like Masters of Malt, Specialty Drinks and Amazon Prime, and 15 minute delivery services. They’re also very excited to share that they will be raising funds soon & for the first time, in order to support our growth plans. They’re up against the world’s biggest conglomerates, but believe in thinking big, starting small and learning fast.
Founder(s): Benjamin Lancaster & Stuart Thom
VCL Vintners is London’s leading whisky cask broker among millennial investors. Founded in 2010, they source and manage the finest investment-grade single malt whisky casks for their network of retail and institutional investors. VCL Vintners provides investment opportunities ranging from new-fill barrels to some of the oldest and rarest casks available.
With assets under management currently totalling around GBP 70 million, VCL Vintners is on track to corner a significant amount of the whisky market’s total reserves, targeting an additional managed amount of GBP 150 million within the next decade. Indeed, the company had a record turnover for February 2022 with over £1.8 million.
Year on year, VCL Vintners’ client base has increased by an additional 45%. Currently, over 60% of the brokerage’s clients are under the age of 45, with nearly a quarter aged between 25 and 34 years old.
In 2021, the most expensive casks sold by VCL Vintners were from the Macallan, Bunnahabhain, Bruichladich, Dalmore, Aultmore, and Ben Nevis distilleries. VCL Vintners does brisk trade in casks valued between £30,000 and £60,000, but has also dealt in stand-out, rare casks worth over £250,000. The brokerage’s dominant acquisition of market share in 2021 was facilitated by key partnerships with younger distilleries, expansion into the Asian markets, and innovations within digital financial technologies.
Throughout the pandemic, VCL Vintners saw an increase in high-end investors based in South-eastern Asian buying into whisky, anticipating the upturn in the market following the vaccine rollout and lifting of restrictions.
In October 2021, VCL Vintners collaborated with Metacask, the digital marketplace for whisky NFTs, and broke a world record in whisky cask investment. Leading NFT artist, Trevor Jones, was commissioned to produce an NFT artwork called the ‘Angel’s Share’ which was backed by a Macallan 1991 cask for the record-breaking price of $2.33 million.
Fruits for Drinks
Founder(s): Mirella Cestaro
Fruits for Drinks is making life tastier, more adventurous, bring theatre and always perfect with their amazing freeze-dried fruit garnishes for the home drinks experience.
Lockdowns created an explosion in the drink-at-home arena – with pictures of home bars and expertly-crafted drinks popping up on Instagram constantly, and more and more people knowing how to make the perfect Negroni or a superb Old Fashioned.
Grocers are reporting an explosion in sales of all spirits and ready mixed (RTD) cocktails as consumers desperately attempt to improve their drinks experiences in the home in these challenging times. Consumers are constantly searching for ways to add a touch of luxury and make their drinks more interesting and more Instagrammable.
Fruits for Drinks, a Hertfordshire-based freeze-dried drinks garnish company, is here to save the day for home mixologists and cocktails enthusiasts, to ensure every drink is the perfect experience for them.
Mirella Cestaro of Fruits for Drinks says: “Fruits for Drinks is here so consumers can enjoy the perfect drink all the time. The idea came from liking a G&T at home but often being stopped by having a hard, dry, half used brown lime in the fridge rather than a delicious, zesty and bursting-with-flavour piece for fruit. We knew there had to be a way to make this happen for us and everyone who likes a nice-looking and great-tasting drink at home – and not by using horrible, brown dehydrated fruit which adds no flavour and looks unappealing. So we source fruit – we follow the fruit season around the world – freeze-dry it and package it. So now everyone can have the chance of enjoying their perfect drink at home with a great fruit garnish”.
Why is freeze-dried best?
• Nothing added, just water removed
• Long Shelf life
• Unique key talking point
• Theatre in the Glass
• Consistent Servings
• Easy storage in the cupboard
What makes Fruits for Drinks special, different and excellent?
• Fruits for Drinks doesn’t need refrigeration like fresh fruit
• Fruits for Drinks can be stored in the same way as a bag of pasta
• Fruits for Drinks weighs 85% less than fresh, so it is lighter to transport therefore reducing carbon emissions
• Fruits for Drinks reduces waste – less manky fruit being thrown in the bin
• 100% natural fruit, nothing added, just water removed
• All nutrients perfectly preserved – no deterioration
Is it a more sustainable alternative to any other garnish?
Yes! Because there is no waste, freeze-drying ensures more of each fruit is used for drinks serving and the rest is used by the food flavouring industry, freeze-dried fruit weighs approximately 85% less than fresh, reducing carbon emissions and there is no need to refrigerate, keep in your cupboard for up to 2 years.
Fruits for Drinks is available in a number of retailers, online and bricks and mortar, including Amazon and Drinksupermarket for £7.99 and there are six fruits in the Fruits for Drinks range – blueberry, lemon, lime, orange, strawberry and raspberry.
All Things Drinks
Founder(s): Dimple Athavia
Founded by Plumpton-trained winemaker, Dimple Athavia, All Things Drinks is a one-stop-shop for carefully selected artisanal wines, ciders, beers, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks. The ever-growing portfolio is accompanied by lots of information about each product as well as fun and quirky food and cocktail recipes.
The ethos of All Things Drinks is centred around creating a diverse and inclusive community that not only sells drinks but connects and educates people in a holistic digital space. Founder Dimple hosts regular virtual live interviews and tastings with producers, cocktail makers and drinks experts on the @all_things_drinks_uk Instagram page.
All Things Drinks is committed to being a responsible retailer. All orders are packaged with eco-friendly, recyclable materials and delivered using next day delivery. Customers also receive 10% off on their first order.
Speaking about the inspiration for All Things Drinks, Founder Dimple Athavia said:
“Opening a wine shop has always been a dream for me, but I knew it had to be more than that. I wanted to create a space for drinks that was dynamic, inclusive and diverse, where customers were not only able to discover amazing new flavours, but also engage and connect with the people behind their favourite brands. That’s why I realised it needed to be an online platform, to make it as accessible as possible for everyone. After several years of working towards this vision of an inclusive drinks community, I’m so thrilled to finally welcome you all in. Watch this space for some exciting future plans!”
Diversity and representation is a key driver for Dimple – Talking about her heritage, she said:
“I am a very proud Indian woman. Born and raised in South Mumbai, my dad is Gujarati and my mum was Maharashtrian. During the twelve years spent working in this industry, I’ve only ever come across a handful of BAME women and I’m yet to come across any female Indian retail entrepreneurs. I’m passionate about inspiring others, and representation is an important part of that. I hope to inspire other women who look like me and have an entrepreneurship dream. My door (and DMs!) is always open for budding female entrepreneurs to reach out.”
For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.
Founder(s): David Haigh, Alex Haigh & Richard Haigh
Mainbrace is a premium golden rum, run by a family based in Helford Passage, Cornwall, and sourced in the Caribbean.
Traditionally crated with a modern twist, Mainbrace is a premium blend of 2 – 5 year old English Navy rums from 3 different stills in Guyana and unaged Agricole from La Favorite Distillerie in Martinique, two styles never bottled together.
As a smooth drink, with no additional sweeteners or colourings, Mainbrace Rum has received rave reviews and multiple global awards since its launch at RumFest in 2019.
The brand name comes from the naval term of ‘Splicing the Mainbrace’. In the days of sail the main mast was steadied, or braced, with a thick rope called the mainbrace. If it was cut by enemy fire in battle, a team of naval ratings (sailors) had to splice the rope back together under enemy fire to save the ship and win the battle. As a reward for successfully achieving this herculean task the captain would order the ship’s pusser (purser) to issue a double ration of rum to the team of ratings as a toast to victory.
To ‘splice the mainbrace’ inevitably became a naval euphemism for an important celebration and was always accompanied with the toast ‘The King – God Bless Him’ or ‘The Queen – God Bless Her’.
Mainbrace Rum therefore embodies the spirit of celebrating a hard-won victory or a major success or celebration. After raking in several awards at international spirits competitions, Mainbrace recently launched a new addition to its range in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee: Mainbrace Cornish Dry Gin.
Distilled in Cornwall, Mainbrace Cornish Dry Gin is made in a traditional copper pot still, made using the London Dry style with no added sugars, sweeteners, essences, or other additives. The gin is made with Cornish water and local botanicals, namely lemon verbena harvested from St. Michaels Mount, and three different types of seaweed – Kelp, Dulse, and Sea Spaghetti – sourced from the Cornish Seaweed Company in Gweek. The gin has a unique taste, dominated by citrus notes, particularly lime, with secondary umami and slightly salty notes stemming from the seaweeds.
Mainbrace Gin is best served as a Gimlet cocktail, which was named after Admiral Gimlette, a 19th century Royal Navy surgeon who insisted the men mix lime syrup with gin to ward off scurvy. It can also be enjoyed with Dubonnet and a twist of lemon peel, said to be the Queen’s favourite cocktail.
Founder(s): Ray & Rachel Woolhead
Nestled in West Yorkshire’s charming Holme Valley sits the Divine Gin distillery, a place where time honoured traditions meet modern technology to create the award winning range of gins.
The company was launched in 2014 by husband and wife team Ray and Rachel Woolhead who met whilst serving in the Royal Air Force.
To grow the brand further they have been working on designing a bespoke bottle where the brief was: beauty, form and function with a touch of elegance. They are delighted to announce that after two years in the planning they are about to reveal the rebrand at the end of the month.
The Divine bottle is an evolutionary design, unique and highly decorated focussing on appealing to all the senses. Visually the bottle is stunning, eye catching with light catching the feathered detail which draws you towards it and begs to be picked up. The bottle is tactile and of intricate detail then topped with an oversized stopper which gives an air of opulence. When opened the sound of the stopper being released followed by the liquid being poured over the wide lip is again enticing. Releasing the aromas delivers a warm nose, discrete juniper and a wonderful citrus and spice, finally escape in the taste explosion of sweet juniper, balanced warm soft spices and a delightfully smooth mouthfeel. An overload for all the senses.
With sales not yet returning to the pre pandemic days we hope to grow a loyal customer base, as a company they firmly believe in promoting responsible drinking and find that delivering remarkable flavour profiles from an honest gin you are likely to drink less.
Founder(s): Joanne Koukis
Outpour is a female founder and focused wine company. They’re getting rid of old school boys club vibes around wine and bringing the enjoyment back.
They have a network of professional women tasters and regular wine drinkers. Together they’ve curated a wine list and useful boxes like the Sauv Blanc a like box for those who love SB but just want to branch out a little. They also have a Takeaway Nights box where they pair the UK’s 6 favourite cuisines with 6 different wines.
They host women only tastings and aim to educate and geek out in a safe space to enjoy and explore tastes.
They launched in October 2021 and it’s been incredible. They’ve built a little community on IG and are growing every day.
Their mission is to take wine back (women buy 80% of all wine) and have a great time doing it.
Founder(s): William Thatcher, now run by Martin Thatcher, 4th generation
A brand new cider from Thatchers has been unveiled – the mouth-wateringly juicy Thatchers Blood Orange Cider.
This delicious new 4% cider from the Somerset cider maker is crafted with naturally juicy, aromatic apples chosen for their sweetness – Braeburn, Fuji and Gala. Bursting with natural blood orange flavour, this is a vibrant and sparkling cider. It’s available in 500ml bottle (RRP £2.30) and 4x440ml can packs (RRP £5.50). You’ll find Thatchers Blood Orange in Asda now, followed by Sainsbury’s and the Co-op. You can also purchase online at www.thatcherscider.co.uk
So as the days get longer and warmer, and your mind turns to barbecues, outdoor eats and enjoying meeting up with friends and family this spring and summer, give this juicy new refreshing cider a try!
And to give as many people a chance to try it as possible, Thatchers will be out and about this spring and summer at events and festivals sampling, so keep an eye out.
“Packed with sweet, juicy flavour, Thatchers Blood Orange Cider will tease the taste buds and quench the thirst,” says fourth generation cider maker Martin Thatcher. “We’re really excited to be launching this latest addition to our family of ciders.
“All our ciders are made with the same deep-rooted quality and responsibility that comes with 117 years of cider making here at Myrtle Farm.”
Sustainability is hugely important for the Somerset cider maker. All its product packaging is recyclable, and there are no plastic rings in sight on its can packs. The bottles are even made from recycled glass – everything Thatchers does has the environment in mind. Thatchers is known for its expertise of crafting smooth and refreshing ciders, hugely popular with drinkers up and down the country, such as Thatchers Gold, Thatchers Haze and its single variety cider Katy.
As with all its ciders, Thatchers Blood Orange Cider is gluten free, and suitable for vegetarians and vegans. It uses natural blood orange flavour and is free from any artificial sweeteners. Thatchers Blood Orange is Thatchers’ second citrus flavoured cider. In 2020, its Cloudy Lemon Cider was launched and has proven to be a big hit with drinkers.
Three Wrens Gin
Founder(s): Nick Wadeson
Three Wrens Gin, launched by Nick Wadeson in 2019, is one to watch in terms of alcoholic beverage companies. Born in Cheshire, it is now an internationally recognised business, with a number of prestigious awards under its belt including the Golden Fork, World Gin Awards and three stars at the Great Taste Awards. Its range includes a number of ‘world first’ flavoured craft gins such as apple crumble, bison grass and key lime pie. The company has just moved to a new distillery over double its original size in Cheshire to accommodate its growth and home its famous gin schools and tasting experiences. Guests can distil their own gins from a range of botanicals during a fully tutored class.
Before turning his hand to distilling, Nick was an award winning mixologist and spent the best part of his career developing cocktail recipes, writing innovative drinks menus, and pairing flavours together. The unique flavour combinations in Three Wrens’ innovative range of gins is a result of his experience, and after an intensive period of study and trials, Three Wrens was launched from a small woodland distillery in Cheshire, with the gins made by hand in a 50 litre copper pot still named ‘Valerie’.
Valerie now has a big sister, ‘Jill the still’ which services growing demand for the products. Jill is a beauty, equipped with a deep vapour basket where we can infuse fresh herbs and florals, and she can produce around 300 bottles per batch. Although Three Wrens’ main method of distilling is very traditional, it also employs modern techniques in the development of our flavours such as ultrasonic infusion, which involves running sounds waves through vacuum sealed packs of spirit and botanicals, to assist Three Wrens in its trials to develop new and exciting products.
Founder(s): Beth Jones
Pirate’s Grog has become an established name in the boutique rum market and a leading brand in spirits gifting, with their products regularly featuring in ‘Top Ten Rum Products’ on Amazon and stockists such as Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Majestic and Virgin.
The company boast eight rum expressions including premium aged rums (Five Year, 13 Year) and spiced and flavoured rums including Honey, Coffee, Pineapple, Smokey Ginger, Spiced and the latest expression – Love Potion No.9, released for Valentine’s Day 2022.
The company launched in the UK in 2014 and have since developed over 30 new products, including an extensive gifting range featuring handcrafted wooden treasure chests and the option to personalise a wax sealed scroll. Bringing a touch of pirate to the modern world.
For Christmas 2021, the company launched the ‘World’s Hottest Rum’, aptly named REAPER. It comes with plenty of warnings, so this is not for the faint hearted! Containing three of the hottest chilli peppers in the world – Carolina Reaper, Trinidad Scorpion and Naga Ghost Chilli, expect it to bring grown men, and women, to tears!
Pre-pandemic, the crew hosted festival stages at Secret Garden Party, Standon Calling, Taste of London and Rumbellion Festival, the brands 2000 person rum and reggae focussed event, held in London during September.
Sailing in 2022, there is a stronger focus on expanding the product range, developing the website and customer loyalty programmes to enhance the direct to consumer offering, which has become the dominant revenue driver.
Founder(s): Alishia Thomas
Comprising a blend of original M0THER gin (juniper berries, bitter orange & orange root with notes of lemongrass, rose petals & cherry blossom flower), with a mix of winterberries, blackberries & slow berries, the gin has been carefully handcrafted to toast the celebration of life and motherhood.
Founded by 35 year old Liverpool-based businesswoman and mum of two, Alicia Thomas, M0THER is a freelance agency which connects working mums with flexible job opportunities in the creative industries, and has now evolved to offer a portfolio of bespoke gifts for mums, including personalised PJs, Boozy Boxes filled with pre-made cocktails and their iconic sliders.
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