I’ve been much remiss when it comes to writing about Sipsmith, in as much as I haven’t really done so yet. I first realised that they existed when they supplied a stack of gin and vodka to the Blaggers’ Banquet, back in November 2009, the event that inspired me to start writing this blog. Since then I’ve visited the distillery a couple of times (first in May 2010, according to the email I just searched for) and have bumped into the folks from the distillery on numerous occasions. However, for one reason or another I’ve never actually done more that gushing about how lovely they are at people I meet in the street. So, to finally do that which I should have done before here’s some witterings about Sipsmith.
The distillery was started in 2009 by Sam Galsworthy and Fairfax Hall, formerly Fuller’s and Diageo reps in the USA, with writer and drinks historian Jared Brown coming in as master distiller and recipe guy. They bought a garage in Hammersmith (formerly owned, it turned out, by legendary beer writer Michael Jackson before he died), obtained (through a scary amount of effort) the first new distilling license for a copper pot still in London for 189 years, filled the garage with a beautiful 300l still made by Christian Carl that they named Prudence (after one of Gordon Brown’s favourite traits, so the story goes) and started making gin and vodka. They don’t do it alone, though – they also have a nice chap called Chris who does the day to day distilling. So, between the three of them, Jared being an occasional visitor, they produce a large amount of booze, the increasing quantity of which Sam seems genuinely shocked about.