Micro-distillery launches organic vodka which is a little slice of Cornwall in a glass
For more than a decade on the north coast of Cornwall organic beers have been quietly produced on a smallholding.
Atlantic Brewery’s ethos is to create unique, memorable and quality small batch alcoholic drinks using the wealth of natural and organic ingredients both on the farm and across Cornwall.
Head brewer Stuart Thomson and Distiller David Carbis, who created the company in Newquay 12 years ago, are passionate about using traditional methods to make contemporary drinks.
Last year the company moved into the gin market and the popularity of the Jynevra range has blossomed.
The range includes Gorsedh, a rich, dry gin packed with organic gorse flowers, and the Smoked Green Tea Gin; infused with green tea leaves which have been cold smoked over oak.
Stuart said: “We are happy to say that these distinctive gins are gaining a great reputation with Cornwall’s restaurateurs and chefs.”
As a result of its success, the company decided to branch out to vodka – launching two unique small batch ‘grown-up’ vodka’s Dowr and Wolf of the Woods.
“We set out to create a fresh, invigorating and unique vodka – a smooth, refreshing drink to rival the ubiquitous gin and tonic,” said Stuart.
“Some of our own staff feel a bit left out of the current gin explosion as they just can’t drink gin.
“We tasted some of the big brand vodkas and found subtlety tends to get lost with mixers, and the flavoured vodkas on offer were sickly sweet, or simply not very refreshing. We wanted to make a grown up vodka.”
Dowr is a smooth, gently double-distilled in a traditional bain-marie still which you can drink neat over ice or served with a splash of tonic and a twist of orange peel.
Wolf of the Woods is a “moreish” Cornish hop vodka, infused with the leafy green citrus notes of hand-picked hops and hints of fresh rosemary and thyme and drinks well served neat as an invigorating digestiv, or with a splash of soda and a twist of cucumber.
“We’re very proud of them both,” said Stuart.
Stuart said what sets the company apart from other breweries and distilleries is the fact they are certified organic, and all botanicals and other ingredients are grown by them or sourced locally from other organic producers.
Treisaac Farm is a 2.5 acre site a few miles from the sea near Newquay, Cornwall. It is their home as well as the site of the brewery, distillery and the certified organic smallholding where they grow ingredients, including Cornish hops, rhubarb, blackcurrants and fresh herbs.
“ Distilling is a very creative process,” Stuart said. “Combining and varying many different ingredients to produce a wonderful tasting end product is a wonderful way to spend the day.
“A mix of invention and refinement, and a reasonable amount of tasting, has made the development of our range a true pleasure.”.
The company were supported by the Growth Hub, which offered a business review with Matt Borne, business connections manager who signposted them to funding, coaching and help with exporting.
This includes Big 2 funding which has enabled two bespoke copper stills to be produced in Portugal, which should arrive this month and will boost the spirit production to ensure they can keep up with growing demand.
“With the popularity of our Jynevra gin growing, and the new Dowr Vodka launching, we realised at the start of this year that we need to expand our distilling operation,” said Stuart.
Now Atlantic Brewery & Distillery are spreading the word, sharing its business support experiences and the impact it has had on their business, encouraging others not to miss out on the Growth Hub’s free service.
Businesses can access help for everything from leadership and marketing to sales and funding, and even if you have a business idea and want help to get it up and running. The place to start is The Growth Hub, who can put businesses in touch with the right support to help them grow.
“We have such fantastic feedback from the businesses that we speak to” says Matt, “Businesses tell us that speaking to the Growth Hub was a great opportunity to get a fresh perspective, stepping back from the day to day operations.”
Stuart added: “Meeting with the Growth Hub has been extremely beneficial, especially in regard to being made aware of the assistance and organisations that are out there and in streamlining the choice and access to them.
“As a result our business has grown and our horizons widened quicker than it would otherwise have done but in a structured and quantified manner that reassures the commitment to both. The business review process was direct and time efficient and I would happily and honestly recommend it.”