By Andy Young
London craft distiller, Sipsmith, which in 2009 opened the city’s first new distillery in nearly 200 years, has been bought by Beam Suntory.
The companies said that Sipsmith will continue to be operated by its founders, Sam Galsworthy and Fairfax Hall, and the operations will remain in London and that the London Dry Gin will continue to be made in the traditional way, hand-crafted in small batches. Beam Suntory said it has “a long track record of sustaining the heritage, culture and craftsmanship of businesses in which it invests”.
Galsworthy said: “This is a momentous occasion for Sipsmith. As leaders of the gin renaissance in the UK, we have worked tirelessly to share our gin of the highest quality with discerning sippers.
“In this new chapter, we have found the perfect partners to take Sipsmith to all four corners of the globe, and do so whilst retaining our quality gin, astonishing team and Chiswick distillery in London.
“The team at Beam Suntory shares our values and pursuit of excellence. Fairfax and I will remain fully involved in the business, working harder than ever to achieve our vision of a gin that will stand the test of time and be sipped around the world.”
The Companies said that they “aim to pursue ambitious export plans for Sipsmith by leveraging Beam Suntory’s strong global routes to market”.
“With incredible skill and passion, Sam and Fairfax have built an extraordinary super-premium gin that is synonymous with London and the utmost craftsmanship,” said Matt Shattock, chairman and CEO of Beam Suntory. “We’re thrilled that Sam and Fairfax will continue to lead the business and make their gin true to their brand vision. We really admire what they’ve accomplished, and we’re very excited to team up with them to maximize the global potential of Sipsmith. Sipsmith’s pioneering spirit and Beam Suntory’s strong routes to market around the world are a winning combination.”
The transaction, which is structured to give Beam Suntory a controlling interest in the business, is expected to be completed in January. Specific terms were not disclosed.