- Founded: 2018
- Status: Operational
- Region: England, Henstone Distillery Ltd, Stonehouse, Weston, Oswestry, SY10 9ES t: 01691 676457
- Online: www.henstonedistillery.com
The largest still in Shropshire has just been installed in Oswestry. Henstone Distillery has been set up by Chris and Alexandra Toller and Shane and Alison Parr. Shane and Alison run Stonehouse Brewery and the distillery will also be based at the brewery site. The four partners have spent 2 years planning their venture and following the support of a grant from the RDPE Growth Programme are now just about ready to start production.
The impressive 1000 litre still, affectionately named Hilda, has been manufactured by Kothe in Germany. Hilda will enable Henstone Distillery to produce around 600 bottles per run, allowing them to retain a craft focus, whilst also being able to meet their anticipated commercial demand. The distillery hope to have their gin ready for sale very soon and they will also start laying down their whisky into oak casks to mature. Production of bourbon and apple brandy (from Stonehouse Brewery’s own Sweeney Mountain Cider) will begin in early 2018.
Chris said “Setting up a distillery has been a long-time dream of mine. Our three core principles are refreshingly real: to have fun, produce quality products and to build a business we can be proud of.”
With the current explosion of interest in craft spirits, the team expect the venture to create jobs as they grow, and to also attract tourists to the area.
“Gin has been the big story for the drinks industry for the last few years” said Alex, “We are adding the final tweaks to our recipe to produce a perfect, classic gin. There is a growing interest among consumers to try fresh, new, small batch products.”
There has already been a huge expression of keen intent from local shops, pubs, restaurants and hotels, and the Henstone team are eager to put Shropshire Whisky production on the map.
“Our experience of making beer will give is a real head start”, said Shane, “As whisky production starts with brewing a strong beer, which is then distilled to produce the spirit for whisky. The spirit needs then to be aged in casks before it can be called whisky. We can experiment with the best malted barleys and ryes to produce distinctive and characteristic whiskies and bourbons.”