Gin. Shed 1 Distillery

You couldn’t make it up. Shakespearian actor meets special paint finisher-turned-teacher in south Korea, moves to Ulverston, starts a gin distillery in the garden shed at home, ‘re-pots’ the business to the local auction mart and then in 2022 wins Visitor Attraction of the Year at the Icons of Gin awards.

How many such lauded destinations are based in an Old Calf Shed beside a cattle and sheep market is difficult to say. But this is where Andy and Zoe Arnold-Bennett produce their ‘small batch, big flavour’ gins as well as hosting experiences like ’Afternoon G&Tea’, ‘Distillery Tour and Gin Tasting’ and ‘Make Your Own Distilled Gin’.

Gin making, of course, is at the heart of this ‘net zero, climate positive’ business and a role the couple have very successfully adapted to. Over the year they produce Shed Loads of Love, Giggle in the Ginnel, Chuckleberry, Chilli Fest, Festive Tipple, Fancy Frolic and Cuckold’s Revenge, plus Festive Bramble Gin Elixir and Blackcurrant and Liquorice Gin Elixir.

Not forgetting the jelly marmalades for which Zoe and Andy use citrus fruit, botanicals and different gins, and not forgetting that a portion of every marmalade sale is donated to charity through their Marmalade Fund.

As for the experiences here, check the website for available dates. Each one takes place in The Old Calf Shed where the small stills, the gin bar, Zoe’s collection of teapots, the bicycle, the copper piping, the distinctive lampshades and the wall of awards make for a perfect setting for making, tasting and afternoon tea.

Those plaudits have come from all sorts of places. Five of the gins have won Great Taste Awards, including two stars for Cuckold’s Revenge, a drink which is also included in Ian Buxton’s book 101 Gins To Try Before You Die.

Shed Loads of Love Gin Jelly Marmalade picked up gold at the World’s Original Marmalade Awards in 2021, the Gin Guide gave Zoe and Andy the Environmental Sustainability (Small Producer) award in 2020 and 2021, Festive Bramble Gin Elixir was shortlisted in the Great British Food Awards 2020. Festive Bramble has since got a silver in the World Gin Awards, Flavoured Gin category. 

Everything here is done with great love and enthusiasm, and with an eye to keeping things local and sustainable. Herbs grow in pallets and wooden planters made by a local joiner outside the calf shed while heritage apples come from an orchard down the road. Even the G&Tea scones might be brushed with juniper glaze and served with cream and gin jelly marmalade.

And if this sounds like the sort of venue you’d want for a wedding, Zoe and Andy can fix that too. Capacity is 30 people but if it’s for a ‘gin elopement’ - with the happy couple only -  Zoe and Andy are more than delighted to act as witnesses. Remember, Shed Loads of Love is one of their gins. 

Shed 1 Distillery, The Old Calf Shed, North Lonsdale Road, Ulverston LA12 7JY: 07794 699913, www.shed1distillery.com Buy online or from numerous independent shops. 

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