Our Patch Spring 2018 Chiswick - Page 6

OUR PATCH SPRING 2018 And it’s a bandwagon that shows no signs of losing its wheels. “I looked into my crystal ball three years ago and predicted that the growth couldn’t go on,” Sam admitted. “Well, I’ve dropped that crystal ball now!” Today, Sipsmith produces a wide range of spirits, although the original zesty London dry gin is still the flagship. Three-quarters of those working at the distillery live within three miles of Cranbrook Road There is also a VJOP (very junipery over proof) gin, a walloping 60%er; sloe gin; lemon drizzle gin; London cup; and sipping vodka. “There was a need, and we tapped into it,” said Sam. “Consumers are awakening to the fact that it’s people, not machines, behind this business. I feel a pride in what we’ve achieved; I like to think we’ve pioneered something.” Sipsmith has put a modest suburban road in Chiswick on the world map, and it’s become a feather in the cap for a community which can sip the product with pride. That’s a bond that Sam Galsworthy – a Brook Green resident – values greatly. “People want to know more about what they’re drinking, and we wouldn’t be having this conversation if our local community wasn’t at the heart of what we do,” he said. Of the 50 people who now work at the distillery, three-quarters live within three miles of Cranbrook Road (“And that’s very important to us”). “Chiswick has embraced us in the same way that Hammersmith did,” said Sam. “It’s what’s so fabulous about communities in London, and I hope our neighbourhood is proud of us.” Belief in the business, and in the different products, shines through when staff escort groups around the premises. Which brings our conversation to the elephant in the room. Just over a year ago, Sipsmith was taken over by global drinks giant Beam Suntory, the world’s third largest spirits producer with a stable of brands including Jim Beam, Laphroaig, Teacher’s, Courvoisier and a great gin name from the past, Gilbey’s. The firm paid £50million for Sipsmith… and yet the microdistillery has retained its defiant, independent ‘small producer’ image. Wasn’t Sam worried that Sipsmith might lose its artisan appeal? 6 / 7 “It’s a very good question,” said Sam. “Our overriding concern was that it might… but our team are more involved in the business than ever before. It’s just that our gin is now enjoyed by more people around the world.” Beam Suntory have proved shrewd parents to their new adopted offspring. Had the business transferred its distilling operation to, say, an industrial estate outside Birmingham, it simply wouldn’t have been the same. So Sipsmith has been left alone. A wider world profile means staff numbers have increased by a fifth since the December 2016 takeover, but otherwise the USP o bFFR6&F66W"F7FVBG&0&VVFVBBFRFRbG27V6F&VХ7VF'6&GB6GF67Pb( ֗6rFRv&FVF( `66֗F667W'2( ėN( 2V&ƖrW0Fw&rvFWB6vrFRWF2( ЦR6B( Ŵ&V7VF'F( BfPV6FFvFW2FRTFW( &PvW&W6R'WBFW( &R7&VF&ǐ6V6FfR&WB'&Bv&VW72`FR7vV66W"G0bFRWr67v6F7FW'Fr66֗F2WfV&RG&fVrF6WBvW"v2( ФvF7FƖr''F6֖w02626( vr&RB&PVRWFF2WG&&F'fW'VvƗ6fW'F&GV7N( vW'G2fRrfW'FVv6FRTFW( fRWfVfW'FVFB&7Fb'&F6W72&VVbBFW&^( 26vbFR67v6ЦG&fV&6vr( 66֗Fv6FVRF&R&V6670FVVRfvFR6WGFW&V@&WB( VFvVB6( ŖR6VRVR7FFr7WW&&WG2&Ǘ6VB'FR6VW 66RbFffW&VBv2'WBv&VvvF6762FG'@&VvvF&V6RWFF6ǒFPF2f'VW26G( 6VW'2vvFW2W"6WFFfr'FBv'FR`W"662B( Ɩ^( FR66֗F7@f"66RFv&GFRb66֗FFG'vBF7FW'FW fV6W"f"GvW7V'VW2ǒ