Yesterday we interviewed Karl Mason, founder of Masons Yorkshire Gin. Based in Bedale, North Yorkshire they are proud to produce their Gin in Britain. Using a traditional distillation method and the right balance of ingredients, they create a distinctly unique Gin.
Can you tell us a little bit about the history of the business? What inspired Masons Gin?
Being a Gin lover one Friday before I left work I sent my wife a message via Facebook simply saying Gin & Tonic? A gin and tonic was waiting for me when I got home so I posted a picture of it on Facebook. Within 2 weeks a few friends also posted pictures of themselves having Gin & Tonics on a Friday so I started a little Facebook group for us to share the pictures. Well this little group went viral and I got over 10,000 followers all joining in which led to gin brands contacting me and sending over free samples to try and promote to my followers - well the rest is history but I basically decided some of the new gins were a little same old same old and set about launching my own gin with the intention of it being unique and deserving its place on the shelf.
In ten words or less, how would you describe it?
Unique with a rolling flavour profile. The Yorkshire Spirit.
What made you decide to base your distillery in Yorkshire, and was it important to source local ingredients when developing the product?
We live in Yorkshire and wanted our own distillery so it was always going to be in Yorkshire, when the trees have no leaves we can actually see the distillery from our house. Its almost impossible to source most of our ingredients locally but we have ideas to possible do this more in future and certainly want to get our main ingredients locally, hence our use of Harrogate Spring Water for cutting the gin back to bottling strength.
With each bottle of Masons being hand-numbered there's a real attention to detail in your product. Do you think consumers are more aware of, and more concerned with where their food and drink comes from?
Not sure they are always aware but there is definitely a movement to buying local which obviously we support. We recently had an approach from Amazon to stock our Gin in a new food and drink section they wish to launch but we turned them down as its just going against the whole shop local ethos.
When looking to expand the distribution of your product what are the biggest challenges and how do you think The Great British Exchange can help?
These days you need as many outlets as possible but they must be the right sort of outlets - hence us refusing Amazon, and we feel the idea behind The Great British Exchange is right with its small quality producer focus.
If you're a British producer or retailer and interested in working with The Great British Exchange, don't hesitate to register your interest.