England’s ‘smallest’ distillery gains £75k funding

22nd February, 2018 by Nicola Carruthers

Cooper King Distillery – England’s ‘smallest’ whisky distillery – has received £75,000 (US$104,000) in funding to begin production.

Cooper King Distillery founders Abbie Neilson and Chris Jaume

Cooper King Distillery founders Abbie Neilson and Chris Jaume

The distillery, which is based in Sutton-on-the-Forest in North Yorkshire on the site of a former horses’ stable, was founded by Abbie Neilson and her fiancé Chris Jaume.

The funding package from Natwest will support the installation of a 900-litre copper still. In addition to the Natwest funding, Cooper King has gained £65,000 through its crowdfunding initiative, Founders Club.

The first batch of Cooper King Gin will be available in May, and the first single malt whisky as early as 2022, following a four-year ageing process. The whisky will be made from Yorkshire barley, and the distillery aim to produce 150 bottles a month.

Cooper King will use locally-sourced ingredients and botanicals where possible.

The company has also employed its first full-time staff member and hopes to create at least two further jobs within the next six months.

“After seeing the popularity of craft whisky in Australia we wanted to replicate what they were doing here in Yorkshire,” said Jaume.

“Over the last four years, Abbie and I have been busy building the foundations for the distillery and now with this funding from Natwest we are able to complete the final piece of the puzzle.

“Britain is undergoing a boom in craft brewing, with people beginning to care more about where the spirits they drink come from. Cooper King will be at the heart of this revolution here in Yorkshire and we can’t wait to take our products to market.”

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