Yorkshire distiller rises from the ashes of fire

By Gwen Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

From the ashes, a new Masons distillery will be born. Left to right, Karl and Cathy Mason
From the ashes, a new Masons distillery will be born. Left to right, Karl and Cathy Mason

Related tags: Drinks

Masons Yorkshire Gin is to open its new distillery in early 2020, nine months after a devastating fire destroyed its original Bedale site.

The new distillery will be based just outside its original location at a 1,149m2 ​purpose-built unit on Leeming Bar industrial estate in North Yorkshire. It will feature an open-plan design and will house Masons’ production, bottling plant and offices under one roof.

Masons co-founder and director Karl Mason said: “It goes without saying that without the incredible response from the fire department and the support we have received from our staff, community and our industry colleagues, we would not be in the fortunate position we are in today.

Staff safety and the continuation of the business

“The most important things for us immediately after the fire were the safety of the staff and the continuation of our business. We built this business on love and care, and that was incredibly important to us throughout sourcing our contingency plans.”

Fire hit the original distillery on the morning of 2 April 2019 after a still exploded,​ destroying everything. Despite this, Masons’ emergency contingency plan – using third-party distilling facilities – as well as support from the local community and industry colleagues, meant there was no loss of production.

400,000 bottles a year

Started by Karl and Cathy Mason in 2013, the distiller capitalised on the growing gin boom within the region and reportedly opened Yorkshire’s first gin distillery. Masons produces more than 400,000 bottles of gin per year for both the on- and off-trade nationally and internationally.

Meanwhile, in other gin-related news, last month saw Manchester-based distiller Didsbury Gin secure a £300,000 invoice finance deal to help upscale the business​ and significantly boost production.

Co-founder and managing director Liam Manton told Food Manufacture​ ​the money would be used to help boost volumes from 15,000 cases of gin sold per year to 300,000 cases.

Related topics: Drinks, Operations

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