Original London gin distillers
Original London gin distillers

Original London gin distillers image 1

Original London gin distillers

Haymans are the only family of original London distillers still making gin, and they distil their gin in London. Now run by the 4th and 5th generations, the family have an unbroken lineage from when their forefather pioneered the London dry style of gin. The gins the family make today are still made to the same 160-year-old family recipes. Hence, they proudly say they make "The Original Gin."

Their story dates back to the 1860s

The Hayman story starts with James Burrough, a London distiller who, in the 1860s, created Beefeater Gin.

Formerly a pharmacist, in 1863, James Burrough paid £400 to purchase John Taylor & Son, a Chelsea-based firm of gin distillers and liqueur makers founded in 1820. He renamed the company 'James Burrough, Distiller and Importer of Foreign Liqueurs' and established a good reputation with a client base that included fancy food shop Fortnum & Mason.

James used his skills as a chemist to perfect the firm's gins and liqueurs. Tellingly, one of his early recipe books listing a recipe for blackcurrant gin is dated 1849, predating his purchase of the distillery by 14 years. The business thrived, and by 1876, papers show that the company's extensive portfolio included gin brands such as James Burrough London Dry, Ye Old Chelsea and Beefeater.

In 1897, James Burrough died, and his sons, Frederick, Ernest and Frank, took over the running of the business. They continued to prosper and, in 1906, purchased premises across the river at 26 Hutton Road, Lambeth. They equipped the new distillery with the latest stills from J Dore & Sons and named the new site Cale Distillery in memory of their old premises in Cale Street, Chelsea.

By the 1960s, the company's shares were held by many extended family members, but the board was comprised of James Burrough's living grandchildren.

The company remained family-owned, with Norman Burrough as chairman, until October 1987, when the majority of the family decided to sell to Whitbread. This was partly driven by the recent threat of grain products, including gin, being banned from import into the USA, their main export market. The Hayman side of the family were against the sale, but there were some 150 members of the family who held shares, the vast majority of whom were not involved in the running of the business.

Christopher Hayman, the son of Marjorie Burrough and Neville Hayman (great-grandson of James Burrough), had started working for the company in 1969, moving from department to department to experience all aspects of the rapidly growing business. After the Whitbread deal went through, he became operations director of Whitbread Spirits Group, responsible for production at Laphroaig, Ardmore, Tormore and Strathclyde distilleries in Scotland, as well as the Beefeater Distillery in London. Although Christopher liked the challenge of running so many distilleries, he decided that working for a conglomerate was not for him and yearned to return to a family business.

Christopher initially created gins for a number of markets, such as the USA and Japan. However, in September 2004, now joined by his son James and daughter Miranda, he launched Hayman's 1820 Gin Liqueur. They expanded the range and set out to create different styles of classic English gins under the Hayman's label, recreating old products from the family's recipe books rather than making new modern gins with unusual botanicals.

Hayman Distillers (Hayman Ltd)

Status: Operational
Visitor Policy: Visitors welcome throughout the year
Tel: +44 (0)20 8673 0485
Website: Hayman Distillers (Hayman Ltd)
Address: 8 Weir Road, Balham, London, SW12 0GT
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