That’s the spirit! Gin distillery is a proper tonic for Norwich pub

Bullards Norwich Dry Gin distillery at the Ten Bells pub, Norwich. Head distiller Peter Smith.Pictur

Bullards Norwich Dry Gin distillery at the Ten Bells pub, Norwich. Head distiller Peter Smith.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A gin distillery has opened in a Norwich pub as a craft beer brewery enters the spirits market.

Bullards Norwich Dry Gin distillery at the Ten Bells pub, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Bullards Norwich Dry Gin distillery at the Ten Bells pub, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Patrick Fisher, joint owner of the Redwell Brewery in Trowse, runs the Ten Bells pub in St Benedicts Street where the gin will be made.

The distillery and bottling rooms in the pub were built after a joint investment with the Greene King brewery in Bury St Edmunds.

Both rooms are visible from within the recently refurbished pub.

The new distillery will produce two 43% ABV standard London dry gins which will be available to buy in 70cl bottles as well as being served at the bar.

The Ten Bells pub in St Benedicts St is set to relaunch with its own gin distillery. Patrick Fisher

The Ten Bells pub in St Benedicts St is set to relaunch with its own gin distillery. Patrick Fisher in the Ten Bells. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Redwell Brewery helped revive the Bullards beer brand earlier this year.

One of the gins will be called the Bullards Norwich Gin and the other will be called Firewater Gin.

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Mr Fisher spent time researching the technique of gin distilling at Thames Distillers in London.

'It was such a valuable experience getting to grips with the intricacies of making gin at Thames Distillers, and has helped shape how our distillery works,' he said. 'Everyone that knows me knows that as well as my passion for real ale, I also have a fondness for a G&T, so bringing to life Norfolk's first distillery was a personal mission as much as anything.'

The botanical used to make the gin will be the tonka bean from central and south America, which has hints of marzipan and vanilla. Each batch takes six hours to distill, and the team aims to produce a daily batch.

The long-term aim is for the bottling and sampling room to be accessible by customers so they can try, hand bottle and label the gin.

The gin distillery vision was announced this summer, and the gin-making kit has now been fitted at the Ten Bells.

Distilling the gin full-time will be head distiller Peter Smith, who is described as an 'up and coming distiller from Oxfordshire with a huge passion for the process'.

He has previously worked at the Cotswolds Distillery.

The Ten Bells reopened under Mr Fisher's steer earlier this year and has earned a reputation for serving a wide range of ales and cocktails.

'For now the focus will be on producing a really clean, crisp gin, but as we get to grips with the techniques, we will definitely be experimenting and looking to branch out into other spirits too,' he said. 'It is our long term aim to really harness the potential of the distillery and earn a reputation in Norfolk and beyond for producing quality, innovative and sophisticated spirits.'

Clive Chesser, of Greene King, described the distillery as 'one of our biggest innovations'.