What is Craft Gin?

What is Craft Gin?

Probably one of the most common questions we get: what is craft gin? And what makes it special? We've heard a lot about a 'craft gin movement' or even a 'craft gin renaissance' but what do these terms refer to? Is every gin distiller a craft gin distiller? Kind of. Do the big brands produce craft gin? They might, but they might also just borrow the term because it sounds good and is 'on trend'. 

While there isn't one exact definition, it is commonly accepted that craft gin is handmade gin. It starts with an idea, a vision of an expression of flavours, and it evolves through multiple rounds of research and development.

As Jon Hulme, one of the founders of the Craft Gin Club phrased it, "It's about embracing and championing products that are unique and have a sense of place and provenance."

The craft distiller is hands on every step of the way: they choose the botanicals, change ratios, vary the alcohol content and finally decide on a recipe. Often, craft gin distillers source their ingredients locally and try to involve flavours of regional significance.

The recipe will then be used to produce a batch of gin. Most craft gin distillers are also small batch distillers, and produce around 100-200l per still run. 

Glass of Papaiti Gin in front of copper still surrounded by books and botanicals

Craft gin is at all times carefully monitored and tested to make sure it lives up to the distiller's standards. Most craft gin distilleries have a small number of staple expressions, just like we have our signature Orchard Gin and Whanganui Dry Gin. But being a small batch craft distillery allows for a lot more flexibility and creativity when it comes to producing special editions and experimenting with new flavour combinations.

So, there you have it: craft gin is about craftsmanship, the distiller's skills and passion behind the bottle. 

If you're keen to learn how to make your own gin, sign up for one of our Gin Crafting Classes.

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