South Wales-based Hensol Castle Distillery has announced a record-breaking May as it increases staff numbers and production to keep up with demand for its award-winning spirits.
Production reached an all-time monthly high for the distillery – the only one of its kind in the UK to be located in the cellars of a Grade I listed castle, peaking at £465,000 excluding duty & VAT, 20% above the previous highest monthly revenue, which was in November 2021.
The announcement comes as the distillery introduces a second daily shift and creates 12 new full-time roles in production, administration and accounting, taking the total number of staff to 32.
The distillery produced 285,000 bottles in the month of May across both its own brands and for contract bottling customers, 40% above the previous highest monthly output in November 2021.
Chris Leeke, Hensol Castle Distillery’s managing director, said: “We’re over the moon with the continued success of the distillery. It was a challenging start for us, launching as we did not long before the pandemic. But we’ve managed to ride out the past turbulent two years to create a business that is not only surviving, but thriving.
“We opened the distillery to visitors towards the end of last year, with the launch of our multi-million pound visitor centre, and we’ve already had 8,000 guests through the door. We’re constantly developing our product line, to keep our gins fresh and exciting, and these are being recognised by industry experts as some of the best in the business.”
Hensol Castle Distillery is South Wales’s first full-scale gin and spirits distillery and contract bottling plant. Since starting production in spring 2019, it has enjoyed rapid growth, handling an ever-expanding order book for contract bottling; launching an on-trade collection of gins and vodkas as well as Trulo – its market-defining range of low calorie liqueurs.
The two latest additions to the distillery’s range, launched in February this year, are Wild Strawberry and Hibiscus and Blood Orange Zest. These have already made the awards podium, both winning Silver Medals at the recent London Spirits Competition. The distillery’s Hensol Castle Welsh Dry Gin, which launched at the end of 2021, won a gold medal at the Spirits Business Awards.
Hensol Castle Distillery’s range is now available throughout restaurants, pubs and bars in South Wales, including the Hardwick and Pasture restaurants, and it has struck sponsorship deals with Cardiff City Football Club and Glamorgan Cricket to become the official gin supplier of both clubs.
In addition to gin production, the distillery also provides a contract bottling service and is now bottling for an increasing number of UK and overseas clients. It is in the process of securing a 20,000 sq ft warehouse facility to help with storage.
Chris Leeke continued: “The awards gained, the rapid increase in our distribution throughout South Wales and particularly gaining official status with both Cardiff City FC and Glamorgan CC is testament to the quality of our products and the incredible hard work of our master distiller, Dai Wakely, and his team.
“Our focus is now on ensuring our growth is sustainable by taking on new premises to give us the space we need, new equipment to allow us to keep up with the demand and most importantly by investing in our people.”