Brothers Pete and Danny opened the Dyfi Distillery in 2016, following 2 years of research and development. Pete moved to the remarkable Dyfi Valley 35 years ago to study environmental biology, and has since foraged, kept bees and hill-farmed there. Danny brought along a wine logic: that things are more fascinating when they taste of where they come from. So together they set out to make a very high quality, genuinely small batch gin, precision-distilled with a sense of place. The place itself is recognised by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve.
Eventually, they settled on 20 native wild foraged botanicals to blend with 9 ‘classic’ gin botanicals for their Pollination Gin.
They have also released Hibernation Gin, which uses a different botanical bill, including wild crab apples, cowberries (lingonberries), bilberries and blackberries, before being the world’s first gin to be aged in a 100-year old White Port pipe (very kindly donated by the Niepoort family).
But how to distill? After much more research they decided that they wanted to co-distill all botanicals together (this gave them the flavours, breadth and integration they wanted, also because of some of their preparation methods) in the classic pot style, but wanted some of the precision that ideas like vacuum distilling offer. So, they settled on two small (100 litre) stills made in Colorado for them, which they further customised after shipping. This design allows them to control things like maceration temperature, transfer time, reflux and copper contact, and then deep clean between every single distillation. So, also because of the complex preparations, their process is time-consuming, and limits production.