If all goes well, the new distillery could be welcoming its first visitors in Spring 2019
G&J GREENALL, the Warrington-based drinks giant behind brands such as Opihr, Bloom and Thomas Dakin Gin, have submitted plans to build a new distillery on Lloyd Street in Manchester city centre.
If approved by the city council, the two floor gin distillery will occupy the former Arcon Housing offices and feature a bar and craft shop, a gin academy and visitor experience, and a Thomas Dakin 'Amiable Club' - which will function as a bar and 'intimate live music space'.
David Hume, creator and director of Thomas Dakin Gin, which launched in Manchester 2015, promises that this new gin distillery will offer the chance to celebrate Mr Dakin - generally regarded as ‘the forefather of quality English gin.’
Speaking to Confidential, Hume said: "Manchester has been a real showcase for gin over the last few years. There are a few really good local brands and the Thomas Dakin Distillery experience will enhance that. The bar scene in Manchester is fantastic, so now is the right time.”
Hume says he has been searching for the right premises since the beginning, but that submitting plans is just the first step in what will likely become a complicated process.
“Manchester as a city has so many exciting projects happening right now,” says Hume, “but we really need to get this right.”
Once they have allowed time for planning to be approved, Hume says they need to purchase and install distillery equipment, get the stills up and running to specification, whilst also refurbishing the building.
If all goes well, the new distillery could be welcoming its first visitors in Spring 2019.
The distillery has been designed by Dublin-based SSA Architects, and features large copper stills which will be viewed through three large crittal-type windows to the front, lit at night to 'offer a pleasant 24-hour shopfront window'.
"We want to create a showcase for gin and gin history
On the first floor is a multifunctional space that contains the Amicable Club and the Gin Academy, where gin-lovers will be guided by an expert and given the chance to create their own blend from a room full of botanicals.
Hume is clearly passionate about the brand. To get the recipe right, Hume says he and his team spent hours trawling through records in Manchester Central Library and Manchester Museum in order to recreate this classic style gin, handcrafted in small batches.
“The particular mix of botanicals and garnishes make every gin unique," says Hume, "and people seem interested to learn more about the process behind the spirit. A visit to the Thomas Dakin Distillery will be an experience like no other and we’re hoping to create a cool hub to talk about all things gin.
"We want to create a showcase for gin and gin history and the role of the North West in that history, bringing Manchester’s industrial heritage up to date.”
Documents submitted to the council estimate that the new attraction could provide up to 60,000 visitors a year. A consultation period will now take place before the plans go before committee. Thomas Dakin Gin Distillery is expected to open around Spring 2019.