A Louth couple have converted their garage into a distillery and are now selling what they claim to be the first-ever bottles of Lincolnshire-produced gin.
Alan Bottomely (33) and Amy Conyard (29) describe their ‘Pin Gin’ as a labour of love and it is already being snapped up in the town’s pubs and restaurants.
It was also available to buy in several shops for the first time during the Easter Bank Holiday weekend and many retailers reported it had sold out.
The couple say they have been ‘blown away’ by the initial success - and demand.
They produce 200 bottles a week but already have plans to expand.
Alan, an engineer, said he’d been fascinated by the prospect of distilling spirits after spending years watching his father make whisky.
He revealed he had the idea for the gin - and a separate business growing Christmas trees - on a journey to work.
A phone call to Amy and Bottomely Distillers was soon up and running, based at their home in Newbridge Hill.
Amy explained: “It was all taken quite lightly at first when Alan called me and said he wanted to start making gin and growing Christmas trees.
“The gin idea started in February 2016 but luckily for now, the Christmas tree plans are on hold.”
The couple also have five-month-old daughter Molly to look after.
Alan spent many months putting together the recipe for the perfect gin and turned to long time friend Stephen Bennett - a chef - who helped pick the final flavourings.
Alan quipped: “Basically, I’ve spent the last year getting drunk!
“I tried a lot of different combinations, using ingredients sourced in Lincolnshire.
“In the end, our gin is made up of just 10 different ‘botanicals’ - a lot less compared to others who tend to use at least 20-30.”
It was Amy who came up with the name. She explained: “I was trying to think of a good play on words and went back to thinking about Alan’s idea to grow Christmas trees, thinking of pines, pin - it rhymed with gin, so it was perfect.
“Sadly, I couldn’t have a taste of the gin until recently because I was pregnant during the production process!”
Their first bottle of ‘Pin Gin’ was sold in March,
Amy added: “The reaction we’ve received is truly amazing with many people giving the brand their own twist, saying they’re out having a ‘pin and tonic’.
“We’re also donating to a company charity that is really personal to us which helps people with encephalitis which my mum suffers from.”
*To find out more about Lincolnshire’s only distilled gin, visit: www.bottomleydistillers.co.uk.