Salford Rum Company to open distillery – and the city’s first ever rum garden

'When looking for somewhere to take the brand to the next level, it was always going to be in Salford' says co-founder Tommy Gaughan

Greater Manchester spirits firm, The Salford Rum Company, is opening its very first distillery, bar and rum garden in early 2022. 

Aptly named The Dirty Old Town Distillery after the song Dirty Old Town, which featured on The Pogues 1985 album Rum Sodomy & the Lash, the distillery will be located in Arch 33 on Viaduct Street, Salford

Having got the keys to the premises this week, work to transform the space into a fully functioning distillery and bar will start immediately, followed swiftly by the launch of Greater Manchester’s very first rum garden on accompanying land under the railway line.  

The company is rooted in the local community. As longer-term partners of Salford Lads Club and supporters of artists such as legendary local doodler Dave Draws, the owners intend the space to become a brand home for The Salford Rum Company as well as a place local creative talent can flourish. 

Tommy Gaughan, one half of the duo responsible for launching Salford Rum, said: “The support we’ve had locally for Salford Rum is nothing short of incredible.

“When looking for somewhere to take the brand to the next level, it was always going to be in Salford, and always going to be a place whereby our supporters can come and feel like they’re part of the Salford family.”

James Harrison, who founded the brand with Tommy said: “It’s been quite a ride and our first step into hospitality feels surreal.

“It’s time for us to grow in Greater Manchester’s vibrant drinks scene and for the brand to have somewhere to develop and – of course – serve awesome drinks.

“We’ve got so many ideas and can’t wait to see the distillery space, bar and rum garden come to life over the next couple of months.”

The brand-new venue will be home to a beautiful craft copper still which will be used to create some of the existing Salford Rums but enable the duo to experiment and innovate more in the small batch space.      

Salford Rum has created two core expressions since its launch in 2018; a golden Salford Spiced Rum and Salford Dark Spice, along with various gifting options and special editions – including a Honey Rum which sold out in seconds when it launched online earlier this year.

The firm signed its first national distribution deal with local, purpose-led firm Ten Locks this year, which saw its rums stocked in Co-op and Morrisons stores across the country. 

Salford Rum was created when James and Tommy – rugby-league-playing high school friends – took inspiration from the growing gin category, which was flying due to buckets of innovation and creativity and set out to make a local premium rum that would rival the luxury gin products on the market. 

After learning about premium rum making on top of their day jobs, and with a small self-funded start up investment of just £8,000, the duo created their first premium golden spiced spirit – Salford Spiced Rum – as a passionate celebration of the history, heritage and people of the Salford Docks in Greater Manchester throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s.  

An era whereby the city’s Salford Docks grew to be the third largest port in the UK, Salford Rum takes its flavour inspiration from the rums, fruits and spices from the Caribbean which were landing on British shores for the first time in that bygone time. 


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