A commercial distillery specialising in artisan gins has opened for business in the Dyfi Valley in Mid Wales.
Within days of opening, The Dyfi Distillery’s first batch of Dyfi Original Gin had sold out, which prompted family members to be drafted in to prepare botanicals by hand.
The business, based at Corris Craft Centre, near Machynlleth, is owned and run by brothers Pete and Danny Cameron with input from both of their families.
Pete, who has lived in the Dyfi Valley for 35 years and runs a small hill farm with his wife, is a local forager and beekeeper with a scientific background. Danny is a wine and spirits professional with 30 years’ experience, including as an international-standard judge and the brothers started planning the distillery two years ago.
“The Dyfi Valley matrix has been recognised by UNESCO as a rare example of a Biosphere Reserve since 2012 and this gives us local access to both amazing water quality and a diversity of botanicals that we can forage sustainably to make very distinctive gin,” said Pete. “We then devised some fairly bespoke methods to create something extra special.”
This has involved having two small stills custom-made in Colorado, with further modification once they arrived in Wales. Each still can produce a batch of around 85 bottles.
“We have enjoyed both respecting tradition and challenging convention every step of the way,” said Danny. “There is a wonderful growth in craft-distilling across the United Kingdom but our pathway is a pretty singular one.
“Unlike most small distilleries, we have a shop and visitor area which is open to curious visitors, although we have a backlog of interest both home and abroad for when we have released our second gin.
“The drinks industry is a fairly small place and buyers are recognising that we are doing things a little differently, in a very special place.”
For the moment, though, the challenge is to keep up with local demand. The Dyfi Distillery opens daily from 10am to 5pm from Easter to October.