Andy Walton is the creator of Copperfish Distillery in Looe, Cornwall. Starting off in 2018 producing moonshine, Andy needed to purchase a new still the following year, to produce whisky, rum and gin as well. He contacted various suppliers without success, as he recalls. “The biggest issue for us as a new, small and recently incorporated business was that many suppliers gave us short shrift. There was no real desire to assist and provide any experience or pass on any knowledge.”
However, his experience with Ryebeck and, in particular speaking to MD Tim Prime, was very different. “With Tim, you get the personal angle and you are made to feel important. I felt that he was providing above and beyond in terms of the service. We explained to him exactly what we were looking to do and he quickly came back with some quotes. About the end of July, we decided to proceed.”
Struggling to find financing options, Tim’s advice again proved invaluable. “He introduced us to a couple of finance houses for small businesses. We had a quote through after we’d provided accounts, it looked favourable and so we decided to proceed.”
Thanks to Ryebeck’s bespoke service, they decided on a 500L still with three columns and twelve bubble caps. “Due to our location and building“, Andy explains, “we have quite a low ceiling and Tim worked with the manufacturers to develop our still. We now have three columns instead of the two which were on the original specification, to allow us to fit comfortably within the building.”
The still was installed and commissioned at the end of 2019. A key element in this process was the involvement of Ryebeck’s Master Distiller, Craig Law who helped provide some invaluable training on the new equipment. Andy is full of praise for Tim’s network of contacts with business expertise: “It’s almost like Tim’s created a one-stop shop. It takes away a lot of pain, time and effort in looking for people and sets him apart from everybody else.”
The week after their new still was installed and just before Christmas, they launched Looe Gin. This will be followed soon by a pink gin, flavoured with fresh raspberries. The design has a mermaid on the front with a picture of Looe beach. “It’s a holiday postcard style“, says Andy. “The gin is dry and straightforward and it’s a very good take on a London Dry. However, our branding on the bottle is really different. Rather than the approach of other craft distilleries in the locality, we’ve gone very much with a bold, picture-postcard look. It stands out and is at an approachable retail price of £30.”
If you’re interested in purchasing distillation equipment or are seeking some advice, do give Ryebeck a call. You can reach the team on +44 (0) 800 689 3216 or contact them via their online form.