Close Menu

New trade body for craft distillers launched

A new trade body set up to promote the interests of Britain’s growing craft spirits industry has launched in the UK, backed by the founder of the Cotswold Distillery.

Daniel Szor, founder and CEO of the Cotswold Distillery

The British Distillers Alliance (BDA) has been formed by by Alan Powell, a specialist independent excise duties consultant, with the intention of supporting British distillers and other artisanal spirits producers.

Announcing the launch of the trade body this morning, Powell said he had been “delighted” with the “overwhelmingly positive” response from craft producers throughout the UK.

One of its founding members is The Cotswold Distillery, which opened in 2014 and produces English whisky and gin.

Voicing his support for the venture Daniel Szor, CEO and founder of the distillery, said: “It’s great news that we’ve set up a distiller’s alliance specifically for craft producers”.

“This is something which is long overdue – our young, dynamic and fast-growing industry desperately needs a voice in Westminster and with HMRC, among others.  We are an extremely positive force for employment, exports and tourism, and our story needs to be heard. We’ve known Alan for several years as one of the leading experts in fiscal and regulatory issues regarding beverage alcohol. His assistance to us, as to many small start-up distillers, has been invaluable.”

The UK’s craft spirits scene has mushroomed the past five years with distilleries springing up across the country at a phenomenal rate. In 2015 49 new distilleries opened across the UK, with that number rising to 117 in the last five years.

The trend is being largely being driven by millennials seeking authentic craft spirits and supported by the growing popularity of gin. Exports have risen by 37% in the past five years, with sales to 139 countries, worth £1.76 billion.

Further highlighting demand for the juniper-based spirit, Portobello Gin announced in May that it was investing millions in building a four-storey “gin mecca” comprising a distillery, hotel and restaurant on London’s Portobello Road.

Any members of the trade that would like support with spirits regulation or customs issues, or would like to discuss membership, should email

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No