Our Distillery

Our gin still has been designed specifically for The Surrey Copper Distillery. She is beautiful!

The gin still at The Surrey Copper Distillery is very special. She is a 300 litre Mini Carterhead designed specifically for us by one of the world’s leading craft distillery manufacturers, Green Engineering of Italy. Green Engineering not only bring a tremendous amount of technical expertise to still design but as craftsmen with typical Italian flair also produce beautiful stills. And we really wanted her to be beautiful.

The Name and The Branding

One of the early decisions concerning the distillery was that it had to be located in the beautiful county of Surrey where so many writers, poets and artists have been inspired. We made this decision whilst on our favourite Surrey walk in the Village of Shere.

Our first brand discussion

We really wanted to work in partnership with the talented Nude Brand Creation who Katherine had previously met at a Gin Guild Ginposium in 2016. Our first meeting to discuss the distillery with Nude Brand Creation was held in the White Horse Inn in Shere. That first conversation was lively, filled with laughter and the sharing of fantastic old local tales and yarns. It was on that day that we realised that Shere, rich in history and our home village, had to be the inspiration for the Distillery name.

The Surrey Copper

One particular tale resonated, during the 1830s a local policeman from Godalming famously put a stop to a sheep-stealing ring who legend had it, plotted and planned in the White Horse Inn in Shere. This “Surrey Copper” as he became known was deemed a local hero and has long been remembered for his principled approach. The words Surrey and Copper completely fitted the distillery’s provenance.

The Surrey Copper Distillery name was born reflecting both our home village of Shere, the location of the Distillery in Cranleigh and our love of history. The spirits we hoped to make would be based on historical recipes collected by Katherine in her personal library.

The Surrey Copper Distillery logo on blue background

Our logo

Nude Brand Creation designed a beautiful mark which is reminiscent of the historic illustrations found on the very antique book covers where those historical references to recipes could be found. A traditional copper pot still sits at the centre, with a long neck to reference the process of distillation and the distillery’s bespoke still. Botanical ingredients nestle intertwined in the etching-style illustration, communicating the key ingredients that will be used in distilling a wide range of spirits.

The Distillery & Spirit Lab

In October 2017, the site had been located. The first chapter of the creation of the distillery was to design the layout of the distillery. The gin still would need to be supported by a spirit lab. The spirit lab would be the birth place of each new spirit produced at the distillery. Katherine sketched out the concept and basic plans and together with our friends at Hoare Laboratory Engineering a unique spirit lab was designed, built and commissioned.

Two 2 litre (The Twins) and one 20 litre (our heroine) copper pot stills with hotplates were acquired. The twin stills were unpacked and named themselves, as they look exactly like Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. Their taller and more elegant companion was obviously Alice.  All three characters appear in Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through The Looking Glass, which he wrote in Guildford.  Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee are the perfect size for developing new gins and Alice is the still we use for Small Batch and Limited Edition gin making.

For our Vermouth we purchased a dedicated 20 litre copper pot still.  Her name is Wendy and she is a darling.  JM Barrie used to take holidays in the village of Shere in Surrey and of course Wendy Darling was a key character in his book, Peter Pan.  We use Wendy to create the wonderful wormwood spirit that is then blended with fine English wine to make Chimes English Extra Dry Vermouth.

The Gin Still

Creating fine spirits requires a special type of still. We could have bought one ready made but we decided to take a different path. We shared our inspirations and aspirations for our distilling process and the flavour and aroma attributes with Green Engineering and they designed a 300 litre carterhead solid copper still with infuser basket. The still was handmade in Italy and she is perfect. In fact, we think she is beautiful. She had to be properly sited and we needed help to understand how best to do that so we are very grateful to Briggs of Burton, Rhys Courtney and Dan Kimber for all their help.

Our Website

You wouldn’t be reading this if it wasn’t for the amazing Gemma Wilks from Photography by Gem.  She listened to our thoughts and then worked her magic and so here we are with a website of our own.

Our Thanks

We know we have been supported in so many ways by family, fellow spirit producers, experts, friends, well wishers and above all by you, our customers and consumers.

Thank you so much for your continuing support. We think you are amazing.