why should you care where your spirits come from?
In 2015 40% of adults in the UK drank at least two units of spirit, on average, per week. This may not seem a lot but those measly little 'units' can add up to a lot. They can cost you up to £12 (depending on where in the country you live) and can come from anything from Whisky to Vodka to Gin... With this is mind, it seems a little odd to us that the vast majority of these people wouldn't have the foggiest idea where these spirits come from or what has actually gone into them. Even if they think they know, they can often fall victim to twee marketing stories that fool them into believing that they have bought a product with some provenance.
Here at Chase we're a little confused by this, with the average Brit spending £50,000 on alcohol in their lifetime we really think you should know and care where your spirits come from. Here's why:
- Alcohol is consumed. You put it into your body (often in large quantities) and you leave your body to process it, just as you do with you food. Recently the Great British public have become obsessed with the trace-ability of our food, we want to know where it came from, how it was bred/grown, how far it has been transported, when it was slaughtered/picked etc... so why is this not the same for alcohol? When was the last time you picked up a bottle and read about where the ingredients were grown and what exactly went into it? Or were you conned into buying a product made from NGS* by the beautiful bottle? At Chase we think every spirit brand should be able to tell you where the ingredients have come from and how they were grown and distilled. Just as food producers have to.
- Alcohol is a luxury. This means you often pay 'luxury' prices for it, and with the rise of premium spirits this price is rising rapidly. We don't think that you should be paying these premium prices for something that has simply been shipped in, re-distilled and then 'beautified' by a marketing agency in the city. You need to know that when you pay a premium price you're getting the quality that you deserve.
- British farmers need support. Your support. These days we are too quick to resort to factories, distilleries and farms overseas to lower the cost of our spirits. But if we can produce them here then why shouldn't we? The food business has recently seen a revival in support for British farmers and the public are buying an increasing quantity of food based on where it has been produced. We feel that this sentiment should be replicated in the spirits business, if you can do it in the UK, then why not?
So why is Chase Distillery different you may ask?
Chase is the first Single-Estate distillery in the UK. Being 'Single-Estate' means that we grow all of our own potatoes and we use the water from our borehole under the farm. We grow all of our base ingredients from field-to-bottle and we distill it here on site in our converted hop kiln barn with the tallest rectification column in the world. We don't like to blow our own trumpet, but we really are doing something different to the vast majority of spirit producers out there. If you don't believe us, then why not book a tour and come and see for yourself.
*Neutral grain spirits, aka pure grain alcohol, is highly concentrated ethanol purified by repeated distillation. Distillation is the fermentation of grain added with water. Neutral grain spirits typically contain 95% alcohol by volume (ABV), or 190-proof, and are produced from grains such as corn, wheat, rye or barley. They are called “neutral” as they are essentially tasteless and odorless, similar to vodka.