LoneWolf installs a free pop-up gin and tonic vending machine in London

LoneWolf Spirits, the distilling arm of Scottish craft brewer Brewdog, has installed a free pop-up gin and tonic vending machine in London, as it celebrates the launch of its pre-mixed gin and tonic cans in Tesco.

Gin fiends can pick up a free sample from London’s Old Street station by tweeting @LoneWolfSpirits using the hashtag #TheWolfOfOldStreet to get their token.

The vending machine will be dispensing cans from 12:30 to 17:00 today (24 January) while the 330ml cans are also available to purchase from Tesco for £3.

London’s association with gin vending machines may go back further than you think.

The project is inspired by one of the history of gin’s most colourful characters: Captain Dudley Bradstreet. The self-appointed ‘captain’, wheeler-dealer, soldier and part-time spy decided to install a gin dispenser, known as the ‘puss and mew’, in a wall to allow Londoner’s to get their fill of Mother’s Ruin.

After the Gin Act of 1736, which virtually prohibited the sale of gin,1 Bradstreet spotted his chance, noting “the mob being very clamorous for want of their beloved liquor, which few…dared sell, it soon occurred to me to venture upon the trade”.

He rented a house and attached an image of a cat to the wall with a pipe beneath its paw. After inserting money into a drawer, gin was poured down the pipe to the waiting customer.

Unfortunately for this crafty “captain” his profits took a hit when other copycat ventures began popping up around the capital.

Today’s gin vending machine project is part of a three day takeover of Old Street Station which will also see LoneWolf host a two-night supper club, complete with a spirits-infused menu to mark Burns Night.

Doug Bairner, managing director of LoneWolf commented: “Gin distillation is something that runs through the veins of London’s cultural history and this vending machine installation gave us the ideal opportunity to combine innovation with the cunning wisdom of the past to unleash our LoneWolf gin and tonic cans on London.

“It took 192 unique distillations to perfect LoneWolf Gin, and our new gin and tonic cans are the latest manifestation of our dedication to delivering the perfect serve every time. Packing a punch at 8.8% ABV, these cans are the perfect ratio of our gin and bespoke tonic, which you can enjoy wherever you are”.


1 The act taxed retail sales at the rate of 20 shillings per gallon and required retailers to purchase a license at the rate of £50 per annum. This was unattainable for most, and the terms of the act were, for the most part, ignored.

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