28/01/21 - 2020 was a year of change, adaptation and supporting each other. Read more about the year and what's ahead in 2021
At the beginning of COVID-19 in the UK, our scientific background came in more useful than ever. Many of you will have seen shortages of hand sanitiser (and toilet roll, bread and other essentials), so we jumped into action and made a plan to start developing our own effective anti-bacterial hand rub. By making it at the distillery, we were able to keep the prices low and also supply large quantities for free to the emergency services, front line workers and our local community. You might have even bought a bottle of gin or two for the impending lockdown and received a free hand sanitiser? Approaching a year later, we've had the product certified by an independent lab and we are the sole supplier for Bluewater shopping centre. In a time of much worry for many, we are glad to have provided some reassurance to those essential workers or anyone going out for important supplies.
The World's Strongest Gin
2020 called for a gin to remember and to reignite the discussion around craft spirits. Never ones to shy away from a challenge, we developed and released the world's strongest Gin - Anno Extreme 95, which definitely got people talking. You might have ordered your own bottle and given it a try? After seeing some of the reaction videos, cocktails and blogs on the lively libation, we know it had peoples' attention. If you have a bottle at home, we love seeing your photos and videos, so please share them on your socials and tag us @annodistillers. We like to remind people that it comes with a cute little measuring beaker, with the suggested 5ml serving being ideal for a very flavoursome G&T at 75% less alcohol than a standard shot of 40% ABV gin. Time to add this unique gin to your collection?
One thing we're missing most is being able to have regular guests at the distillery. Those who've purchased vouchers and tickets to our experiences have been so patient and understanding while we start and stop our schedule around lockdowns. We understand the importance of taking safety measures and in the short times of being open in 2020, we took every precaution to keep visitors safe. Thanks to your many great reviews, Tripadvisor awarded us the 'Travellers' Choice Award' - now displayed around the distillery in readiness for your return. In the meantime, buying gift vouchers for future use is a great way to support us and also have something to look forward to later. If you've been to the distillery, please leave us a review on Tripadvisor, Facebook or Google? We can't wait to see you again soon!
Bluewater & Tunbridge Wells
Did you get to visit our Christmas pop-up shops? We opened and closed a few times around various lockdowns but our staff were so happy to see you and help with your Christmas shopping. We had all your favourites in-store and even an interactive display to pose with the new world's strongest gin! If you didn't make it then we'll see you sometime soon. In the meantime, you can shop in comfort with UK home delivery.
Our good friends at Kent Gin Co. have started offering fantastic virtual gin tastings! They're Kent-based but anyone in mainland UK can take part. You can buy tickets on their website but don't wait, they sell fast. In their first tasting, lucky participants will try Anno Orange & Honey Gin and Anno B3rry Pink Gin, among others. A range of natural, London Essence tonics is also supplied for pairing. Give them a follow on their socials and look out for more upcoming dates!
Craft Gin Club
Amazing things happen with collaboration! The creation of Kent's first whisky or our charity partnership with Bee Friendly Trust come to mind. When we got together with Craft Gin Club, they filled some lovely 5cl bottles with Anno Sloe Gin, featuring a limited edition design. They included these tasty little temptations not only in miniature gift packs but also in their amazingly festive gin advent calendar, in partnership with gin-loving TV veteran, Phillip Schofield. Were you lucky enough to try one of these over the Christmas holidays?
Looking ahead, we're dreaming up new arrivals for 2021 and readying the distillery for our beloved visitors! We've also listened to your feedback and are working on a new, easier to use online shopping experience - watch this space. If you haven't signed up to our newsletter, then do it now! Stay up to date with our special offers and other exciting news. We're also ready to continue supporting our much-loved hospitality industry. All the bars, pubs, inns, restaurants, hotels, mobile bars and everyone in-between! The resilience and strength of so many small businesses around us is heartening, seeing them dig deep and finding new ways to keep going. If there's any way that Anno may be able to help, please let us know what we can do. Good luck to you all and let's stay positive for better times ahead.
Cheers, from the Anno team