Maidstone Distillery has completed the construction of its new artisan distillery in Maidstone, England.

The planning application for the new distillery and bar was approved in July 2019 and construction began in October 2019.

The opening of the gin distillery to the public was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In May 2020, the management revealed plans to open the facility virtually and is working on making a physical launch soon.

The facility started distilling gin in May 2020. Maidstone Distillery contracted marketing and digital agency Zest for branding purposes.

Maidstone distillery and bar location

The new distillery is located at the Market Buildings, which was once the home of the town’s Corn Exchange. The listed building was converted into a facility suitable for distillery and bar operations.

The location is a historical site situated in the middle of the town and can be easily accessed by road and railway.

Maidstone distillery design and features

The distillery design includes a new bar and distillery equipment. It is installed with a modern production line and storage vessels. It also includes a small bottling and packaging line and an area to support research and development activities.

The interior design features a deep, rich green colour on the walls and copper detailing under arches. The building features high ceilings to accommodate the distillery equipment.

“The original capacity of the bottle storage was doubled and a bottling machine was installed at the distillery.”

The facility has large windows and includes an experience room for visitors to learn about the distillery. It will offer mixology classes, allowing visitors to learn about the history of spirits and make their own gin on miniature copper stills. The distillery still features a 450l copper pot still and high rectifying columns.

The still is designed with copper and stainless-steel and has the capacity to produce whiskey, vodka, brandy, rum, gin, liqueurs, flavoured spirits, and eau de vie.

The experience room includes three mahogany benches and will be used during events such as tours, blending experiences, and guided sessions, enabling visitors to gain first-hand understanding of distilling.

The original capacity of the bottle storage was doubled and a bottling machine was installed at the distillery. Maidstone Distillery equipped the facility with thousands of bottles of different sizes to be able to package the products for sale at retail locations. The location will also have a small shop.

Contractors involved

RAP Interiors was awarded a contract to design and build the new distillery. The company also advised on lighting, interiors, electrical and plumbing for the distillery project.

Maidstone’s product portfolio

The distillery’s first products include two gins: George Bishop London Dry Gin and Ranscombe Wild.  The company partnered with UK conservation charity Plantlife to create Ranscombe Wild Gin, a new gin inspired by local wild plants. The locally distilled contemporary artisan gin is zesty and herbaceous, and features wild foraged botanicals from Plantlife’s nature reserve in Cuxton, Kent.

Maidstone Distillery and Plantlife participated in a Zoom live tasting event in May 2020 to finalise the recipe for Ranscombe Wild. George Bishop London Dry Gin, the distillery’s flagship spirit, is bold, smooth, and complex.

The distillery’s range of spirits also includes liqueurs. In addition, the distillery will offer a special limited edition gin produced from the first batches.

Marketing commentary on Maidstone Distillery

Maidstone Distillery was founded by Darren Graves and his wife Samantha. The company aims to build on the legacy of the former Maidstone distillery, which operated in the town and ended operations in 1982.

In addition to white spirits, the distillery also intends to explore the possibility of producing cask matured spirits.