Pickering's Gin

The social enterprise providing 
a tonic for good causes

An Edinburgh distillery has joined together with a group of experts to create the world's first social enterprise gin, with profits going towards good causes.

Founders of Pickering’s Gin, Marcus Pickering and Matt Gammell, created the spirit which they aptly named Ginerosity.

Together they have formed a new company, Good Spirits (Scotland) CIC, in partnership with social enterprise entrepreneur Chris Thewlis, Dave Mullen of marketing agency Story, and drinks industry and export specialist David Moore.

They launched the gin at Pickering’s distillery in Edinburgh’s Summerhall, and said it will be available in bars, off licences and online shortly.

And the new company will invest the profits from sales of the spirit into projects that will help and support under-privileged or disadvantaged young people.

Marcus said: "Supporting good causes is something that’s very close to our hearts, and something we’ve been involved in for many years. But for a while we’ve wanted to do something more formal with our gin company. Producing this unique gin is the perfect way to achieve that. This is all about turning young people’s fortunes around, and I’m exceptionally proud that we’re the first to do it."

We want to support disadvantaged and disenfranchised young people in the UK, as well as give opportunities to young people and children in other countries.”

"By bringing in Chris Thewlis, Dave Mullen and David Moore, we've put together a superb team of industry leaders, experts in their field, who bring their own knowledge and skills, as well as their contacts, to make this unique project happen."

Matt said: “We’ve established the company, we’ve created a gin that looks and tastes beautiful, and we’ve got a super cause to support: helping young people build themselves a better future. Now we’ve just got to get this gin into the market so people can start buying the product and help give these deserving young people a step up.

Launched in 2013, Pickering’s Gin was the first new gin distillery in Edinburgh in 150 years, and has since won numerous awards for its craft gin, including gold at the World Spirits Awards 2014 and San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2015.

Matt said the recipe for Ginerosity had been developed to be both accessible but complex, and had made using responsibly sourced botanicals, while the brand and look had been developed by Dave Mullen and his creative team at Story.

He added: “In the creation of Ginerosity we wanted to produce a gin that was both traditional in style while being smooth and refreshing as a gin and tonic. We have taken a range of 10 botanicals from the traditional juniper, lemon, lime and Angelica to the more unusual lemon myrtle and heather to create a superb gin of real character, which combines fresh citrus flavours with a gentle modern twist.

The new company said its profits would go towards enabling young people to develop life skills that would help them find work and build a stable, positive future.

The social enterprise is now recruiting an independent panel whose members would decide on the direction of the funding.

Chris Thewlis, who also runs the social enterprise bar group Beer for Good, said: “Ginerosity is a perfect example of a social enterprise being used to help the community, and shows how a private business, a brilliant idea and some big-hearted individuals can come together and make a meaningful difference to people’s lives.

Social enterprise is all about profit share for good, and I’m especially delighted that we’re going to be using this business model for a bespoke gin.

We’re not asking anyone to make a sacrifice – this is a bloody great gin! – we’re just asking people to buy Ginerosity so they can make a positive difference to the public good from the profits made.”

The above article by Fiona McKay first published on positivelyscottish.scot in Sep, 2016.