Sustainable Legacy

A small, artisan distillery attributes its huge success to its sustainable, eco-friendly ethos and putting the community at its heart

A resounding success story when it comes to sustainability, Brindle Distillery was borne out of a family’s wish to use their farmland to create a legacy for future generations.

Having farmed for more than 100 years, the Singleton family decided to diversify back in 2016 when, after a long day, they began chatting over a gin and tonic, as director Mark Long recalls: “My father-in-law was looking to make use of the land to create something more sustainable than farming, a business that would grow the local economy and drive tourism in Lancashire – something that would survive long after his time.”

Considering what the family had at their disposal on the farm, they began to develop the idea of setting up a distillery with a commitment to artisanal craftmanship: “We have an ancient artesian aquifer on the land that produces crystal clear spring water, which is perfect for making spirits,” adds Mark.

After a year researching recipes, ingredients and equipment, Brindle Distillery launched their first Signature Cuckoo gin in 2017 – a huge success which is largely down to the eco-friendly methods of making the spirit: “The spring water is a key ingredient. When our gin comes off the still it is so strong it has to be diluted and that’s where the spring water comes in. It makes up 60 per cent of our gin and when people taste it they recognise what a clean flavour it brings to the product. The way we make our spirits and the natural sustainable ingredients we use all add to it.”

The spring water not only serves as a vital component to the clean taste of the spirits made at the distillery – it also cools and heats the still, affectionately known as Maggie. A wood-burning, eco-friendly bio-mass boiler provides heat for the still’s water jacket, a major factor in creating a premium product.

The bio-mass boiler also heats the distillery too: “We use minimal electricity in the whole process of manufacturing,” adds Mark.

World class botanicals are among the ingredients used and these are sourced from suppliers with the same ethical standards held by the team at Brindle Distillery: “We grow some of our own herbs – we grow the rosemary and thyme that goes into our Cuckoo Solace gin, plus we have honey on-site for our Sunshine gin.”

A collaboration with Simon and Kath Cordingley and the Bee Centre has resulted in the distillery having their own hive: “We plant wildflowers on the farm which we also use in one of our gins and the honey produced by our bees means we don’t need to use any mass-produced syrups often found in other gins, which ensure Cuckoo is totally natural. Every ingredient contributes to the exceptional taste that sets our spirits apart.”

Reinforcing their commitment to sustainability, three years ago the team at the distillery sourced bespoke new bottles, beautifully etched and made from recycled glass in Yorkshire: “They are 70 per cent lighter than our previous bottles and Yorkshire was the nearest glassmaker that could make the bottles, which are now used across the range.”

The distillery also offers a ‘refill’ service giving customers the opportunity to bring their empty bottle back to be refilled on site with the customer getting a discount for re-using their bottle.

Alongside their award-winning Cuckoo Signature, Sunshine, Solace, Spiced and Supernova gins, the distillery also makes Spring, Supremo, Scrumpy and Seaside vodkas and Sundowner rum, which is aged in old bourbon whisky barrels.

“A few years ago the gin market was oversaturated but it’s beginning to level out and we hope that the cream will rise to the top,” says Mark. “We have seen fantastic growth, which underpins what we are doing.”

Employing seven full-time, two part-time and 25 casual workers, the team takes great pride in their work and the ethos of the distillery: “Many of our casual staff are students and it’s great to see their confidence grow as they meet our customers.

“We have built a strong community around the distillery, which is lovely as it’s always good to give something back.”

Building a community spirit has also revolved around various experiences including make your own gin workshops, gin tastings and cocktail masterclasses along with events featuring live music in the Cuckoo’s Nest bar as well as Nestival, the first of which was a huge success last year: “We kept the numbers low last year as it was our first but this year it will double. It’s a great community event featuring artisan food, a covered space and local artists performing.”

Nestival will be held from 2nd – 4th August.



Tedd Walmsley

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Tedd Walmsley managing director of Live Magazines shares his views on the latest topics in media.

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