Anno celebrates a decade of success
04/08/21 - Looking back on the last ten years of Anno Distillers, Kent's first micro-distillery in over 200 years
Anno celebrates a decade of success.
10 years ago, on 4th August 2011, an idea was forming in the minds of our co-founders, Andy Reason and Norman Lewis. Grabbing a notepad, they sat down at Andy’s kitchen table in Maidstone and began drafting plans which would ultimately end up leading to the creation of Kent’s first micro-distillery.
Now, exactly a decade later, and with multiple awards under our belts, Anno has gained recognition at the international level, thanks to our title as creators of ‘The World’s Strongest Gin’. Anno Extreme 95 Gin, which weighs in at a magnificent 95% abv, retains all the flavour, balance and subtle notes that fans of Anno have come to expect over the years.
In order to celebrate our momentous achievement, we held an exclusive VIP birthday event for just over 150 lucky guests at our distillery in Marden. Gin fans in attendance were treated to an insight into the history of gin, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Distillery and how the spirits are made from Anno Founder, Andy, Brand Ambassador, Ian, and Head Distiller, Jake, as well as getting the opportunity to try out the award-winning range and stay for a cocktail or two in the glorious Kent sunshine.
Looking back on the last ten years, owning the World’s Strongest Gin title is just the tip of the iceberg for us. Having been conjured into life by two former pharmaceutical experts, who wanted to use a blend of science and nature to create the perfect spirits, we are pleased to say our efforts have resulted in multiple highly regarded accolades across the years. With too many to list, a few of our favourites include a Gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Awards shortly after launching, Kent Product of the Year at the Taste of Kent Awards, and even the honour of being ‘Short-Term Retailer of the Year’ for our Pop-up shop at Bluewater Shopping Centre – beating the likes of international powerhouses Maison by Christian Dior.
When we spoke to Andy about the last 10 years he commented, “From our humble beginnings as a family-based distillery, to our now much more extended family of employees and fans, it has been a remarkable and rewarding journey. When we first set out we wanted to make a quality gin, and now we have produced an outstanding range of 14 different core spirits and limited editions - and counting – as well as a sanitiser.”
“It is nice to take a brief moment to look back on all we have achieved in a relatively short space of time,” he continued, adding; “It’s astonishing really, and we couldn’t have done it without the vital input, hard work and sacrifices from our wonderful staff, both past and present, as well as the gin lovers who continue to support us. We’ve been so amazingly fortunate to have enjoyed such success, though of course, we hope that there is much more to come in the future.”
For those that missed out on the Anno open day, but want to take a look into distillery life, we run distillery tours and experiences, available most weekends, and bookable from our website. We are also offering 10% off our distillery webshop for the month of August to help our customers celebrate this exciting milestone with us, use code '10YEARS' (valid until 31/08/2021). Thanks to Kent Gin Co. for the additional photography.