THE oldest continuous distillery has also been recognised as the best gin maker in the world.

Birchwood based G&J Distillers’ parent company, Quintessential Brands Group, received the prestigious Gin Producer of The Year trophy at this year’s International Spirits Challenge awards ceremony.

It is the fourth time in the past five years the makers of some of the fastest growing gin brands like Greenall’s Gin, Opihr, Bloom, Thomas Dakin Gin and Berkeley Square have picked up the accolade.

Joanne Moore, master distiller, who grew up in Stockton Heath, added; “Innovation is at the heart of everything we do when it comes to gin distilling, but never to the detriment of quality.

“As the world’s foremost gin distillers with more than two centuries of experience, we believe innovation must respect the rich heritage, craftsmanship and traditions of gin, while also showcasing gin’s versatility and intrinsic juniper character.”

The story of gin in Warrington goes back more than 250 years when Thomas Dakin, just 25 at the time, set up a distillery in Bridge Street.

Dakin then teamed up with the Greenall family to create G&J Distillers and Greenall’s Gin is still made using the original recipe from 1761.

Now the distillery employs more than 170 people and makes around a fifth of the world’s gin.

Joanne, a former Bridgewater High School student, added: “We’re incredibly proud not just to win, but to be leading the global gin category today, right here in Warrington, where quality English gin originated.”