After launching our signature Nantwich Gin in November 2020, 2021 became our first whole year of trading - and what a busy, challenging, insightful and positive year it was!
New partnerships were made with customers, stockists and new industry connections. Awards were won and new challenges were faced. We received wonderful feedback from gin lovers across the country and met many new friends through organisations such as Sip and Share. To top off the year, Nantwich Gin had a bit of a glow-up and even some brand new products were launched.
It's time to grab a G&T, get comfy and join us for a re-cap of the best bits...!
2021 was a tough year for many, and due to lockdown restrictions, the industry saw a quiet first quarter. Many shops, bars, pubs and restaurants closed their doors until spring - a truly trying time for the hospitality and retail sectors. We had to adapt from our original business plan, so we used this time to connect locals and brand new customers, as Nantwich Gin grew in popularity. During this time, we received so much positive feedback, (which can be seen on our Contact Page under Happy Customers) and we're very thankful for those initial first months that we had to get to know you. Thank you for all your support, as none of this would have been possible without supporters like you.
In January, we also connected with the team from Sip and Share: the Exclusive Craft Gin & Spirits Discount Club. These guys offer fantastic deals, great fun virtual events and inclusion into a wonderful community of gin lovers. A big thank you to Kate and the team for introducing us and Nantwich Gin to S&S. Check them out by clicking here!
Lots of feedback began to roll in from ginfluencers and industry professionals via social media as spring approached, some posting their thoughts and tasting notes whilst others trialled Nantwich Gin in innovative cocktails and spread our story far and wide. A big thank you to these guys, and to those who snapped photos of the bottle and posted them, shared our social media posts and helped to show the world Nantwich Gin!
Spring finally saw the re-opening of local bars and restaurants as restrictions lifted. We began to make and solidify relationships with stockists across Cheshire. More than twenty-five establishments were stocking Nantwich Gin by the year's end! We love working with our stockists and we're keen to participate in many tastings and events with them during 2022. Nantwich Gin also became the house gin for some. Check out out stockists here!
For Easter, we celebrated with a virtual Easter egg hunt around Nantwich through our social media channels. We were thrilled that many locals took part, guessing the locations within photographs where we'd hidden a miniature 5cl bottle of Nantwich Gin. Fifteen winners claimed their free miniature at the end from Cheerbrook Farm Shop. It was lovely to host this interactive giveaway, and we're looking forward to doing it, and perhaps a few more, throughout 2022.
Then came three cherries on top of a fantastic spring into summertime: Nantwich Gin was awarded a silver medal at its first ever industry awards; the London Spirits Competition 2021. This was closely followed by the announcement of the gin becoming a finalist, and then receiving a Highly Commended title at The Gin Guide Awards 2021. As the news of the year's final award, a GOLD medal at the Spirits Business Gin Masters came in, the C.B. Team were all absolutely thrilled and overwhelmed with pride for our signature product.
Many publication opportunities arose with Cheshire Life, GQ Magazine and more. (See more on our Press and Publications page). We worked with the Stoke Sentinel, too, who covered the event at The White Lion at Weston: Our end of summer celebration was a Nantwich Gin launch party. Although it was a bit of a delayed party, it was better to be safe than sorry after the restrictions - and of course, with one of our Directors being a local hospital Matron, we wanted to keep infection risks as low as possible. So, on September 3rd, we set up at the White Lion and offered samples, danced to fantastic live saxophone music and offered unique cocktails which you can still find on the White Lion at Weston's bar menu today.
As 2021 drew to a close and plans for the Christmas season began to take shape, we participated in some more seasonal tastings in partnership with stockists such as Cheerbrook Farm Shop and The Lambing Shed in Knutsford. It was great to be a part of these events and to work with such lovely local businesses. We're looking forward to many more tastings and talks in 2022, including some very unique events on board a historic boat... more on this will be revealed very soon!
As the Christmas rush began, as well as smartening up Nantwich Gin's reverse label with a re-design, we launched several brand new products on our online shop over the course of a week. These included balloon glasses and tumblers, coasters, gin tasting journals and more. But the star of the show was a brand new gin. We took the plunge and released an extremely limited edition run of Matron's Strength, a navy strength gin at 57%. In 20cl bottles, these gins represent the strength and tenacity that healthcare professionals show - not just during a pandemic, but continuously. You can read all about Matron's Strength here.
2021 was certainly a challenging year, but we're proud to say that we persisted with the vision and kept moving forward. Like any dream worth pursuing, we encountered the good, the bad and the downright ugly moments, for sure...! But those tests have only made us stronger, uniting us as a family even more.
Now, we just can't wait to see what 2022 has in store for us.
Thank you to everyone behind the scenes who has helped to make our first year in trading as successful as possible, as well as our incredible friends, family, supporters, stockists and customers.
Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
All the best,
- Holly, Paul and Deb: The C.B. Team. x