Family ran Cornish distillery

Why we chose to start a distillery in the UK and how to start a distillery

Before moving back to Cornwall, we lived in Sweden, near to the archipelagos and in a stretch of forest bordering a small lake.

The summers were glorious and the winters long and cold! The wood burner was on from October till April burning wood from the trees felled the year previously.

We would gather lingon berries for making red wine and tap birch trees in the spring for crisp white wines.

This was the start for us as a family on the road to opening a distillery.

We toyed with the idea from 2017, but it wasn't until the pandemic forced Lisa out of work that we really started to get the ball rolling.

Getting a rectifying and compounding license is relatively easy and enables you to buy in a base spirit say of rum, add flavouring if you fancy it and then call it your own Spiced Rum. We wanted to say we made our spirits from base ingredients, turns out this task is a lot harder than you think for the small distiller.

The HMRC can and will refuse distillers licenses if they are to operate a still under the size of 1800 litres, our first still was 200 litres so we were definitely short on that front! We were lucky and the HMRC agents that dealt with our case were nothing but helpful. 

After working through business plans, risk assessments, procedures, schematics and all the other fun stuff, we sent it off for review and were finally granted our distillers license! 

We now proudly ferment molasses, yeast and Cornish water to create our rum wash, this is then double distilled, using our copper pot still to produce our rums.

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