Meet artisan gin producers, Greensand Ridge
By Mark Lightford, with Scott Richardson & Kate Morgan.
So you want me to spend a day in a gin distillery? Talking about gin? Seeing gin being made? Tasting it? Tough life, but yes, I agreed.
Which is how I ended up in a little corner of Kent near Tonbridge (eventually, after the sat nav got very confused) one grey Monday morning in March. Destination was Greensand Ridge, brainchild of founder Will Edge, and housed in one of Kent’s few undeveloped stable barns. After a couple of years searching for the perfect location, Will was lucky enough to find this family home with empty outbuildings that was perfectly suited to creating a modern micro distillery. And so the journey began.
As I was ushered in through Alice in Wonderland doors to the heart of the operation, I was struck by how clever their use of space was. One half of the barn showcases the beautiful copper stills and barrels, together with a display of botanicals and tasting apparatus. The other is packed to the rafters with tanks, bottles, labels, boxes and kit. Tucked in the corner is the ‘office’. Will and his colleague Chris, who looks after sales, run the entire show out of this one barn, apart from some barrel aging that’s located off-site.
Besides their core gin range, they also produce cask aged gins, apple brandy and Wealden rum. Key to their ethos is sustainability and Will is passionate about using Kent produce straight from the farms to reduce food waste. I was amazed to hear of all the food wasted in the food system, 75% is lost at the farm gate due to the high bar for quality set by the main buyers for the produce. Mitigating this waste is something that Greensand Ridge work hard to achieve and something that really struck a chord with me.
Working with like-minded producers is one of the greatest joys of being at The King’s Head and it was an absolute pleasure to spend the day with Will and Chris. The care and skill that goes into their premium spirits is abundant and the proof (no pun intended) is in the flavour. Using botanicals that grow within a mile of the distillery, the London Dry Gin is beautifully smooth and balanced. My absolute favourite has to be the Raspberry Ghost, drunk exactly like a gin with tonic, yet exploding with tart raspberry flavour.
Much of our day was spent filming and you can see the fruits of our labour in the video above, and also a little peak behind the scenes in our blog. We hope you enjoy the film and next time you’re in The King’s Head, be sure to request a Greensand Ridge gin & tonic. Cheers!