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The Anno story

In 2011, our founders Dr Andy Reason and Dr Norman Lewis left behind their roles as scientists to pursue their passion for craft spirits and open Kent's first gin distillery in 200 years. With one eye on the science behind making quality spirits and another on proudly displaying all that their home county of Kent has to offer, they duly created Anno Distillers and began the journey of a lifetime.

 

Started in Maidstone and now Nestled away in the sleepy yet picturesque village of Marden is where the magic happens. While the journey so far has been a story of success, it hasn’t always been plain sailing. In the early days when Andy, Norman and Kim were bubbling with ideas and enthusiasm they had to endure seemingly endless waits, including an arduous 18-month wait for a licence, but the perseverance paid off. As a celebration of this momentous event, we adorned our beloved 300-litre copper pot still with the name ‘Patience’ as a tribute to those challenging times.

 

Patience stands proudly as the centrepiece at our distillery, gleaming in all her copper beauty, and every one of Anno’s delicious spirits is still made in her to this day.  Since those early days we’ve continued apace to accumulate much praise from both fans and experts alike, culminating in some outstanding recognition at various awards. We’re extremely proud of each one we’ve received, including Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Awards.

So how have we achieved such success? Unlike many distillers, our founders’ life-long science background gives us a practical understanding of the equipment capabilities, allowing us to make the highest quality products. We utilise our skills to craft products designed for your pleasure, full of both intense flavours and subtle notes. But perhaps most of all, each and every one of our employees has a real passion for what we do, helping to ensure that each bottle is bursting with our famous flavours.

 

Andy and Norman are also malt whisky lovers with a dream of making one of their own. Keeping true to their links to Kent they came up with a plan and initiated a joint venture to create the first ever to be made in the county of Kent. The mash was fermented by Westerham Brewery and then the wash was distilled by Anno in Marden, with the exclusive cask being filled in May 2015. There, the single cask remained untouched, the spirit maturing and developing its new characteristics. In 2018 the resting spirit officially became whisky and, following a tasting by owners of the two companies (Andy, Norman and Robert), they were encouraged to release this young whisky.

 

In March 2020, the world faced a new challenge as COVID-19 moved in and altered all of our lives. Anno were quick to pivot and start producing Anno Alcohol Hand Rub (sanitiser), using our scientific knowledge and equipment to supply a safe and affordable product in a time of need.

Our fusion of science and nature which we call ‘the Spirit of Alchemy’ allows us to make incredibly smooth and distinctive spirits.
Andy
Company founder & co-director
Andy
A self-confessed perfectionist, his attention to detail makes him a great distiller and all-round handyman who enjoys the finer things in life especially good gin!

MY FAVOURITE COCKTAIL
Anno 602 G&T

Norman
Company founder (Retired 2019)
Norman
Has a passion for experimentation from his scientific roots and enjoys spending time outdoors, especially foraging for new and exciting botanicals.

MY FAVOURITE COCKTAIL
602 Negroni

Kim
Sales & Marketing Manager
Kim
Immense scientific curiosity and sense of adventure, if not teaching people to SCUBA dive or playing hockey, you'll find her creating cocktails or promoting gin.

MY FAVOURITE COCKTAIL
Samphire Martini

Patience
Our Beautiful Lady
Patience
We couldn’t do without her. She is a 300L copper-pot still, designed specifically for us and she plays her role exquisitely, making multi-award winning spirits.

MY FAVOURITE COCKTAIL
Dry - Straight Up

Mike
Production Manager
Mike
Analytical scientist through and through, He runs a tight ship in the distillery making sure our wonderful products make their way to you.

MY FAVOURITE COCKTAIL
Kentish Twinkle

Jake
Assistant Distiller
Jake
Spirit and beer enthusiast, creator of all things weird & wonderful. In the distillery he’s mastering the art of craft production as Mike’s right hand man.

MY FAVOURITE COCKTAIL
Sloe Royale

Nick
Export Consultant
Nick
A lifetime of sales experience and thousands of miles travelled, helps Anno find export partners across the globe. His mission - to get Anno to gin lovers everywhere.

MY FAVOURITE COCKTAIL
G&T with mint & ginger

Ian
Brand Ambassador
Ian
He is a former wine buyer and entrepeneur who enjoys watching the Gills FC at weekends, if he's not pouring you a gin or two at his or yours.

MY FAVOURITE COCKTAIL
Anno 60² Gin with Tonic

Rob
Design & Content Manager
Rob
A keen craft baker and lover of all things nature, he spends his time taking photos, exploring the countryside and enjoying everything Kent has to offer.

MY FAVOURITE COCKTAIL
Bramble

Mandy
Business Administrator
Mandy
Family orientated and a keen cook. She loves getting out in the countryside and can usually be found running in Knole Park on Saturday mornings.

MY FAVOURITE COCKTAIL
Mediterranean Gin & Tonic

Jessica
Marketing Assistant
Jessica
When she's not growing her distillery knowledge, she enjoys walking her cockerpoo in the Kentish countryside or creating cocktails for her friends.

MY FAVOURITE COCKTAIL
Anno B3rry Pink Gin & Tonic

Distillery status

Creating Kent’s favourite craft spirits is eventful work! Whether we’re hand bottling or our much-loved copper pot still, Patience, is busy mixing up some great flavours, there’s always something going on at the distillery. Take a sneak peek at what we’re up to right now:

Distilling in progress
Bottling in progress
Packaging in progress
 

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