UK brand taps into Canadian gin thirst

One of the UK’s youngest gin brands is tapping into “soaring interest” for this category in Canada after securing its first major export deal.

Chilgrove Gin Bottle & Botanicals, zpfile000, MainLaunched earlier this year, Chilgrove Gin from Sussex claims to be the first English gin to be made from distilled grapes rather than grain.

Working with its export partner The British Bottle Company, the brand has signed a deal with the government monopoly distribution board Société des Alcools du Québec (SAQ) that will see its product reach the shelves in early 2015.

Christopher Beaumont-Hutchings, co-founder of Chilgrove Gin, reported: “English gin is soaring in interest in Canada.” In particular he noted: “a new generation of gin drinking clubs and bars, such as Le Pourvoyeur in Montreal which stocks over 50 gins from eight countries, are influential in fuelling this interest in the provenance and innovation in gin.”

According to SAQ data, gin accounts for 10% of all spirit sales in Quebec, with English gin accounting for more than CA$36 million (£19.9m) worth of sales in this state alone.

Against this backdrop Beaumont-Hutchings predicted a bright future for the category, saying: “Sales of gin in Canada continue to increase year-on-year and English gin will surely continue to be a huge driver in the premium spirits market in Canada and worldwide.”

At a time when other UK drinks brands have also enjoyed success in the Canadian market, The British Bottle Company founder Red Johnson remarked: “This is a very exciting time for British craft spirit exports and Canada is highly influential as a market for British luxury drinks brands.”

Explaining this success, he continued: “British exports complement the high quality spirits created by the new generation of Canadian craft distillers, so the market is perfect for a brand such as Chilgrove Gin.”

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