A Chorley gin distillery is buzzing over business – with a lot of thanks going to its hundreds of little resident yellow and black friends.
Brindle Distillery at Holmes Farm, Brindle, has gone above and beyond its commitment to authenticity by housing its very own beehives at its gin haven, courtesy of The Bee Centre at Samlesbury Hall.
The honey from the Bee Centre’s bees is being used by the team to make its award-winning Cuckoo Sunshine Gin, which uses honey to naturally sweeten the gin as a substitute for sugar.
Mark Long from Brindle Distillery said: “It’s fantastic because we use honey from our own bees which are around the back of the farm.
“The bees are managed not by myself but by the Bee Centre up at Samlesbury Hall, so it’s a lovely link up of local businesses.”
The Bee Centre is run by Kath and Simon Cordingley and as well as providing Brindle Distillery with its own hives provides the chance to see bee-keeping close up, take part and learn all about British bees and honey and support native bees.
Simon said: “We like dealing with the local supply chain and working with really good companies which have the same ethics in good customer service and really good quality products – it’s about beating that Lancashire drum loud and proud.
“I’ve never come across any set up like this before. There’s one in, I think, Gloucester which has started to do some bee keeping but we were definitely the first.
“The idea now is to work together. We do ‘bee experiences’ at Samlesbury Hall but we are going to combine with the distillery and its gin workshops which will be great.”
The distillery currently has three hives on site, which have been there since March, with plans to expand them next year.
Simon, from Bamber Bridge, explained: “We should have between four and six hives – unless we put a whole load on there because there’s definitely space for it. It’s all to be discussed.”
The Bee Centre won the Sustainable Tourism Award and the Visitor Experience Award at this year’s Lancashire Tourism Awards.
In July, Brindle Distillery’s Cuckoo Sunshine Gin was also named the Best Flavoured Gin in the prestigious 2018 Gin Guide Awards.
Simon added: “Between the two of us we seem to be winning all sorts of awards!”
A spokesman from The Gin Guide said: “The Gin Guide Awards celebrates the quality and diversity in the gin industry and Cuckoo Sunshine Gin hugely impressed the expert judging panel.
“Cuckoo Sunshine Gin strikes the balance between having a wealth of bold flavour and maintaining indentifiable characteristics of gin.
“Many flavoured gins focus on one or two stand out flavours, whilst Cuckoo Sunshine Gin combines flavours impressively to give complexity, depth and personality. It is an exceptionally moreish and enjoyable gin.”