When Bramley & Gage offered me to join a group of Bristol bloggers for a tour of their distillery where the delicious 6 O’Clock gin is produced, I knew exactly who I would take along with me. My friend Belle, Gin connoisseur and 6 O’Clock fan, is on a quest to discover 52 gins this year, so that tells you how committed to the gin cause she is.
Bramley & Gage is a family business. Started by fruit farmers husband and wife Edward Bramley Kain and Penelope Gage in the 1980s, it first focused on fruit liqueurs, before creating sloe and damson gins, its very unique gin and more recently, as we found out with delight, a delicious vermouth.
We were warmly welcomed by the team together with Edward and Penelope’s children Felicity and Michael, who now run the business. Within seconds of arriving Belle and I were offered a G&T before heading behind the scenes to discover where the magic happens.
From starting with gallons of pure alcohol, to chemistry, fermentation, bottling and labelling, we were taken on the journey that turns alcohol into the delicacy enjoyed by so many people.
We were also introduced to ‘Kathleen’, the two tiered copper still in which botanicals and high-proof spirits are heated twice for an extra smooth taste.
Founder Edward also talked us through the origins of gin and its development from mother’s ruin to the drink of choice for many before showing us the mix of botanicals used to create the 6 O’Clock Gin.
He then invited us to get up close and personal with some of the delicious aromas by spraying their oils on our wrists.
I was surprised to the find that the process is still quite manual and not more automated but that just adds to the quality I guess!
To finish this amazing immersion in the world of Bramley & Gage we gathered around the counter to try sloe gin, liqueurs, gin and vermouth. We didn’t leave empty handed of course and I opted for a small Damson gin and a bottle of 6 O’Clock. I had to take something back for Dan!
A huge thankyou to Edward, Felicity, Michael, Pete, Maria, Tom and Chris from Bramley & Gage for having us.