Beam Suntory takes controlling interest in Sipsmith Gin, setting out ‘ambitious export plans’

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Beam Suntory takes controlling interest in Sipsmith Gin

Related tags: Gin

Beam Suntory is taking a controlling interest in London gin distillery Sipsmith, allowing the companies to ‘pursue ambitious export plans’ for Sipsmith’s super-premium London Dry Gin.

More than two-thirds of Sipsmith’s sales are currently made in the UK, and Sam Galsworthy, co-founder, says the distillery has been a leader in the UK’s gin renaissance. He says the deal with Beam Suntory will now allow it to ‘take Sipsmith to all four corners of the globe’.

Meanwhile, Beam Suntory identifies super-premium gin as the fastest growing segment of the ‘attractive and growing global gin category’.

“Sipsmith’s pioneering spirit and Beam Suntory’s strong routes to market around the world are a winning combination,”​ said Matt Shattock, chairman and CEO of Beam Suntory.

‘Nothing will change… although we might be a little busier…’

Sipsmith was founded in 2009 by Sam Galsworthy and Fairfax Hall in London, with a mission ‘to bring London Dry Gin of truly uncompromising quality and character back to the city where it first earned its name’​.

Galsworthy and Hall will continue to operate the business, which will remain located at the Chiswick distillery.

In a note to fans, the duo say: “You have our word that we will remain very much integral to the leadership of Sipsmith and our unwavering commitment to adhere to our ethos of traditional small batch gin distillation.

Sipsmith

Sipsmith ‘combines modern technology with traditional recipes and techniques of yesteryear’. Spirits are made by hand and in small batches: the company says this is the only way to craft spirits of high quality.

Sipsmith opened its distillery doors in 2009. Its London Dry Gin has won 30 international awards. Featured in the Top Ten global trending gins for the last 4 years, Sipsmith was nominated 2015 Craft Distillery of the Year and Britain's #1 gin by Coolbrands.

The range includes London Dry Gin, London Cup,​ Sloe Gin, and V.J.O.P (Very Junipery Over Proof) Gin.

sipsmith inset

“In fact, nothing will change here at our London Distillery – although we might be a little busier – we will produce our gin in exactly the same way, to the highest level of quality.

"Our team remains the same, our gin remains the same.

“The only point of change will be that Sipsmith will be available all over the world. Something that we think is very wonderful indeed.”

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association says 2016 was a 'record breaking year' for gin, with 40 million bottles sold in the UK​ this year. The category has also broken the £1bn sales mark.

Exports are also booming: with British gin reaching 139 countries and accounting for 3 in 4 bottles of gin imported around the world.  

Sipsmith uses traditional copper pot distillation to make its flagship London Dry Gin, as well as innovations such as V.J.O.P. (Very Junipery Over Proof Gin) and Sloe Gin.

Beam Suntory is the world’s third largest premium spirits company, with a portfolio including Jim Beam, Teacher’s, Laphroaig and Canadian Club.

The transaction, which will give Beam Suntory a controlling interest in the business, is expected to be completed in January.

Financial details were not disclosed. 

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