Make your own gin at Durham Distillery's major new site

The popular Durham Gin brand is raising a glass to its major new distillery which is opening in the heart of Durham City.

Years in the planning, Durham Gin this week moves into its new distillery premises in Prince Bishops Place, with retail space on the first floor and a distillery on the ground floor which will be open for tours – as well as make your own gin experiences for groups of friends.

It’s a major new development for the brand, which was founded by owner Jon Chadwick in 2014, which has seen a complete transformation of the 6,000 sq ft former Royal Bank of Scotland and McDonald’s unit which had stood empty for some time.

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As well as moving the distilling operation from Langley Park to the new site, which is five and a half times bigger than their previous distillery, the extra space means the firm can now accommodate tours of up to 20 people.

Durham Distillery opens this week at its new premises
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It also has a dedicated bar and workshop space and still room for cocktail making and make your own gin sessions where people can take away their own full size bottle of gin.

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Jon has called it a hugely exciting chapter for his brand.

“This new site has been years in the planning and we were hit with delays due to Covid, so it’s amazing to finally have people through the doors this week,” he said.

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Durham Distillery has taken on new premises on High Street, Prince Bishops. MD Jon Chadwick.

“We’re 200 yards from the cathedral and it’s such a great location.

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"We’re hoping people who want to have a drink, but maybe don’t want to stay out until midnight, will come in for a tour. We’re really honest and transparent about the way gin is made here and, if you drink gin, it’s great to be able to see it made before your eyes.

"Or, groups of friends who want to make their own gin can come in and leave with a unique bottle of gin.”

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He added: “My inspiration for the site was from America. In places like Harvard, Yale and Princeton, you have these amazing bourbon distillery tours.

The former Royal Bank of Scotland and McDonald's space had been empty for some time before becoming the distillery
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“Durham is as close as we have to the Ivy League here and I wanted to bring that model here, but with gin.

"Durham city centre is undergoing a huge resurgence with all the bars and restaurants opening. The future of high streets isn’t about traditional retail anymore, it’s about hospitality and experiential sites.

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"It’s a very vibrant and exciting time in the city and I think what we’ve done here to a former retail unit is something really exciting and different that you don’t really see outside of London.”

Durham Gin is a popular local brand
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Durham Gin has been running a pop-up shop opposite the new site, but that will now move to the retail space and entrance at the new distillery.

The retail space is due to open from November 23, with tours and gin-making sessions available to book online from the New Year.

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Tours start from £17 per person, with gin making from £70 per person, including a full size bottle of gin to take away.

Durham Gin is one of the most-successful craft spirit brands in the region.

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As well as being sold in supermarkets across the North East, it also features in high end stores such as Fenwick and is available online.

Its most popular seller is its classic Durham Gin, but its range also includes a mango gin, sloe gin, cask aged gin and vodka.

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Workshop space is nearing completion
People can now see behind the scenes in the distilling process