G&J Distillers in Birchwood has launched a new production line for miniature bottles as the 'golden era for British gin' continues into 2019.

The new line for 5cl 'minis' is expected to see the distillery continue to be a driving force for the global growth of gin, which grew 173 per cent worldwide in the last year, reaching £2.2 billion in sales in the UK alone.

It was a particularly positive year for G&J's flagship brand, Greenall’s, which sold more than 400,000 nine-litre cases in a year for the first time.

The first run of the new production line, which can produce up to 200,000 miniature gin bottles per week, was officially started by Warrington North MP, Helen Jones, after she met with Warren Scott, co-founder of G&J's owner Quintessential Brands.


The introduction of the miniatures line is expected to further boost the company’s UK and global sales for its popular gin brands, which include Bloom, Opihr, Thomas Dakin and Berkeley Square, as well as Greenall’s, which has been handcrafted in Warrington since 1761.

Warren Scott, chief executive of Quintessential Brands, four-time winner of the International Spirits Challenge Gin Producer of the Year award, said: “The miniatures market presents significant opportunity for the spirits industry, and as the world’s foremost gin distillers, we are proud that G&J Distillers is right at the forefront of this trend.

"We are very grateful to Helen Jones MP for attending the distillery to open the new production line. It was a pleasure for us to show her around the site and it gave all of us a sense of enormous pride to show her just what a great asset G&J Distillers is, both to the local economy, and the wider UK economy, as we continue to drive the popularity of gin at home and around the world.

"With more than 250 years of gin distilling heritage, G&J Distillers is a true icon of the spirits industry and we’re committed to ensuring it remains that way in the future.

"With production at G&J Distillers increasing as miniatures orders come in and the popularity of gin continues to grow, we will soon be starting a new recruitment drive, bringing a further economic boost to Warrington in the year ahead, so there are exciting times ahead in 2019 for G&J Distillers and for Warrington.”


Mrs Jones went on a guided tour of the site’s still house and bottling hall, where up to 160,000 bottles of gin are produced each day.

That gave her a sense of the scale of the operation which saw more than 30 million bottles of gin exported in 2018.

She added: “Quintessential Brands’ investment in G&J Distillers is a great boost for Warrington, and reinforces the importance of G&J Distillers in the community and to the local economy. The people of Warrington are proud of the town’s great gin heritage and its reassuring to see the company’s commitment to protecting this heritage."

A huge part of the gin surge last year was down to sales of pink and flavoured gin as Britain has seen hundreds of new products coming onto the market.

Flavoured gin alone brought in £165 million in 2018, up a whopping 751 per cent on the same period in 2017.

Mr Scott said: “It’s fantastic to see the nation’s love affair with British gin continuing. Right now, we’re seeing more interest and engagement in gin than ever from consumers – those who are new to the category as well as those more seasoned gin drinkers who want to experiment with flavoured gins or splash out on more premium gins.

“As owners of the UK’s foremost gin distillery our expert distillers bring a lifetime of experience and skill to creating new and exciting gins.


Helen Jones MP and Warren Scott, chief executive of Quintessential Brands

"The recent success of premium gin brands with an innovative twist, such as Bloom with its jasmine and rose pink gin, which flew off the shelves when we launched it this summer, shows that consumers are intrigued by these new gin flavours which can only be good news for the UK’s gin producers and the long term health of the category."

The story of Greenall's gin goes back more than 250 years when Thomas Dakin, just 25 at the time, set up a distillery in Bridge Street where Poundworld is now.

It was renamed Greenall's gin when the Dakin and Greenall families decided to collaborate and create G&J Distillers. But they have always stuck to the original recipe from 1761.

Mr Scott added: “While the last year has seen a huge surge of interest in new styles and flavours of gin, the majority of gins that we’re drinking today are actually based on a style dating back to 1761, when the original London Dry Gin was created by an enterprising young man named Thomas Dakin. That very same gin, Greenall’s, is still produced in exactly the same way by G&J Distillers, and it remains one of the best-selling gins in the world today.

"It’s certainly a golden era for British Gin right now and I’m confident this success will continue in the years ahead.”