Manchester is awash with an amazing selection of breweries and distilleries for the most discerning of tastes.
The city punches massively above its weight in the distilling game when it comes to the delicious juniper spirit. Enough to be able to put together an A to Z of local gins.
Situated in the railway arches of Deansgate, Atlas Bar has been a Manchester icon for over two decades, and has matured into an elegant, quality bar specialising in gins from around the world; over 570 at the last count!
This is the largest offer in Manchester City Centre.
Winner of Best Spirits Bar North West and Best Bar Team North West in The Great British Pub Awards alongside the Design My Night Best Beer Garden Award and a finalist in the 2019 Star Pub Awards for Best Spirits Bar in the UK.
If you want a gin, this is the place.
The Ancoats Distillery Limited
One morning, walking through Ancoats, two friends saw blackberries growing amongst the decay of a derelict pub. The morning light captured the scene perfectly as nature looked to reclaim some land in the neighbourhood that had given birth to the Industrial Revolution. The scene captured the rebirth of Ancoats perfectly, and the idea for Ancoats Gin was born at that moment.
The Ancoats Distillery do not use any concentrates, artificial colours, flavours or infusions in producing Ancoats Gin. Hand-crafted from carefully selected botanicals, all the flavour comes from the organic material and the distilling process.
With a delightful selection of flavours in beautifully presented bottles, you can’t go wrong with this great Manchester brand.
Bee-Ginning was founded in 2018 by husband and wife Dave & Ang Gandy. Born out of a love and passion for gin, Bee-Ginning started life as a mobile gin bar, hosting gin events across the North West and beyond.
Lockdown in 2020 put a hold on all of that and Bee-Ginning Gin was created. They have a great selection of flavours from custom bottles to parma violet, and a champagne supernova edition thrown In for good measure.
Their gin is handcrafted in their Manchester distillery (M40) with the help of Ginsmith, Phil.
Boothstown Gin is a micro-distillery in Manchester with a big personality.
Boothstown Gin was inspired by Joseph Evans (1803-1874). A famous Botanist and herbalist from Boothstown, highly revered by the local community. He practised his science and held open surgeries for all comers in public houses around the area.
As a herbal doctor he prescribed botanical & plant-based remedies. He was particularly interested in gooseberries, rich in antioxidants and known for many health benefits. Dr Evan’s developed his gin with good medical intentions & regularly prescribed it to his patient’s along with instructions to “Drink & Sing into the night, in order to restore red cheeks and smiles” Boothstown gin is distilled in their own pot still to a traditional recipe, much like the one Dr Evan’s would have used.
Defiance is an original, innovative distillery which doesn’t follow convention. Crafting unique spirits with eye-catching designs. Defiance Distillery was launched by Paul Sheerin in 2017, an outlet for his passion for food and drink which started in his 20s while travelling the world. Defiance represents Paul’s passion for quality and design, which can be seen in everything he creates. Shortly after launching the Distillery was built in the foothills of Oldham/Saddleworth which is open on Friday nights as a gin experience bar on Friday nights and as a Gin Academy on Saturday, which means the passion can be shared with the wider public
Liam Manton and Mark Smallwood were no strangers to a G&T or two, and one Christmas Eve wondered if it was possible to pull the characteristics of their favourite gins into one. So they did. Taking inspiration from Fletcher Moss and Parsonage Gardens, and working with Union Distillery in Market Harborough, their first gin was a light citrus version of a London Dry gin, and is perfect with lemon thyme and pink grapefruit.
Faith & Sons
A favourite with bartenders, Faith & Sons Gin is handcrafted in Manchester by Felipe Sousa.
It’s a classic London Dry-style gin using six organic botanicals – juniper, coriander, angelica, liquorice, lemon verbena and mandarin peel.
But again, the gins don’t stop there because Sousa has expanded the range with vodkas, gin liqueurs and his own, in-house roasted coffee gin.
Fenney Street Gin
Elderflower, lavender and rose are just three of the thirteen hand-selected botanicals giving Fenney Street Gin its distinctive light floral notes. A labour of love with only around 85 bottles produced per batch and each bottle hand labelled, hand filled and hand batched by Paul Carruthers and Becky Brown in a fully licensed nano distillery in their kitchen. They decided not to chill filter their gin which means that when ice or a cold tonic is added, a pearlescent haze appears in the glass as the essential oils from the botanicals are released. Definitely, one to watch. And drink.
This gin from the four sisters of the seven brothers is actually from Salford, but as I love both cities and gin can be found at the Seven Bro7hers Beerhouse in Ancoats, I think that allows me to include it (plus I’m the one writing it, so…). Another difference with this gin is that it’s distilled a little differently. The botanicals are held in the basket at the top of the still so it’s light and crisp. A very easy drinker.
Though inspired by Japan, Kuro has its roots in Manchester. Craig Fell and John Thomson have taken the pine-scented ski slopes of Japan and with the help of a master distiller behind most of the gins on your supermarket shelf, created a fresh, clean gin with botanicals including silver birch and bamboo.
Manchester Three Rivers Gin
Our second city centre-based gin is Manchester Three Rivers. Taking inspiration from Manchester’s past, present and future, it’s the creation of Dave Rigby, who moved from lecturing to bar owning to master distiller.
Not only is there a distinctive gin to be found in the railway arches of the Green Quarter, but also a gin school – offering both you and I the opportunity to learn a little about gin, how it’s made and also to make your own and take it home.
Set up by Sherwin Acebuche and Tim Driver, the unique flavours of Tarsier’s beautiful gins have been inspired by their travels around the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Sherwin said they felt inspired by the flavours and botanicals they found across Southeast Asia, and became determined to capture those flavours and bring them back to Manchester.
They have proved hugely popular worldwide from their small distillery in Styal.
Thomas Dakin Gin
Thomas Dakin was the gentleman behind the Greenall’s distillery in Warrington, which isn’t just the oldest (established in 1761) but claims to be the home of the world’s first female distiller.
The plan was for Thomas Dakin Gin to be distilled in Manchester but as yet there is no still distillery. Nevertheless, the gin carries Manchester’s name, and there’s no denying the innovation and skill behind the brand. Oh, and it’s also a rather lovely savoury-style gin.
Another one that crosses the border into Salford, Worsley may be most well known for a copper coloured canal and a footballer or two, but now can count gin amongst its claims to fame. Created in collaboration with biochemist and master distiller Dr J, Worsley Gin includes botanicals from the leafy suburb itself – buttercups, roses and dandelions – making it a distinctively floral gin.
Perhaps our most prolific distillers, Zymurgorium claim to be the original Manchester gin, and have followed it up with more, including a Manchester Marmalade Gin (using a locally made marmalade), and the incredibly popular Sweet Violet Gin (think parma violets in a glass). They also have a slew of liqueurs, mead and absinthe. Their original gin is made using their own brewed mead, which gives it an incredibly rich, honeyed, almost biscuity flavour profile.