Batch Brew Limited in Burnley on location, botanicals, inspiration and their ethos…
How, when and why was Batch started?
Batch Brew Limited was founded in 2011 by two beer-loving friends. Originally a brewery, Batch produced a number of craft beers in Winchester.
In 2014, director Phil was on holiday in Spain and fell in love with the gin scene and decided to turn his attention to developing his own recipe. After a year of experiments, Batch Signature Gin was born. Later in 2015, production moved to Burnley as Phil’s nephew, Ollie, and his partner, Emma, took on the distilling. Ollie had just bought a new house and had the perfect space to transform into a distillery – the basement. Batch has gone from strength to strength since then, moving into a converted mill in 2016, exporting to various countries and even winning Best Gin at 2018’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Where does your inspiration for the flavours and ingredients in your gins come from?
Most of our inspiration comes from travel and international cuisine. All shareholders of Batch are friends and family of the founders and share a love of worldwide travel. Arabic spice routes inspired the first recipe for Batch Signature Gin – leading us to the unusual botanicals of Frankincense and Myrrh. Buddha’s Hand Gin contains Chinese botanicals and was inspired by a visit to a friend out in China. This month’s gin, Lime Leaf Gin was inspired by travels in Thailand and includes galangal, jasmine and lime leaf. This results in an incredibly fresh, citrus flavour.
Do you think the location of a distillery influences the character of its gin?
For Batch, the industrial heritage of our hometown, Burnley, has definitely influenced our gin. When we started playing with an idea for a navy strength gin, we actually settled on 55%ABV and called it Industrial Strength Gin! It has also inspired us to be innovative and to work collaboratively. We have worked with a number of other businesses to keep our ideas fresh and exciting.
Following the move from Winchester to Burnley, we also discovered that the taste of our gin improved by using the soft water rather than the hard water it was previously diluted with.
What makes Batch Brew different to other gins?
We’re innovative and bold! We’re not afraid to try something new and make mistakes along the way; it’s how we learn and keep getting better. We love to experiment at Batch and stand out from the crowd. For example, our PX Sherry Cask was brought back from Spain in the boot of a family member’s car. We used this to age our delicious Sherry Cask Rum but then reused it to age a blend of our Signature and Industrial Strength Gins. Gin Rummy was created and can be enjoyed with tonic or even cola, which draws out the rum character.
At Batch, we like to surprise our customers. In spite of requests to produce popular flavours, we have vowed not to follow trends and offer Batch fans something out of the ordinary, yet still completely delicious!
When choosing botanicals, do you think it’s important to stick to tradition as well as experimenting?
Our gins always taste predominantly of juniper, along with other classic gin botanicals such as coriander seed and cinnamon. We always want our gins to taste like proper gin. The botanicals we add after these are where we get creative! Nothing is off-limits as long as it tastes great!
WORDS by Emma Goodman