Drink Producer of the Year: Great Food Club Awards 2022/3


Chosen by our judges:

Brentingby Gin, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire


The top public vote-winners:

Brentingby Gin, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
Dojima Sake Brewery, Ely, Cambridgeshire
Lazydog Rum Distillery, Coalville, Leicestershire
Nene Valley Spirits, Sacrewell Farm, Cambridgeshire

The winner is Brentingby Gin, which not only distils outstanding gin at its Melton Mowbray HQ, but has also created a stunning cocktail bar – The Fur & Feather Bar – and spirits school in Melton Mowbray Cattle Market.

Brentingby Gin’s cocktail bar at Melton Mowbray Cattle Market

The vision that founder Bruce Midgley, Matt Detombs and the Brentingby crew have needed to achieve this – not to mention all the hard work – can’t be underestimated.

Brentingby gins are excellent, too – the London Dry Gin, Black Edition (featuring botanicals such as lime, ginger and meadowsweet) and Rooibos & Baobab Pink Gin (inspired by founder Bruce’s South African heritage) are all top quality. Hats off to the Brentingby team!

Brentingby Gin’s Spirits School

The other finalists

Lazydog Rum Distillery

Our judges were hugely impressed by Lazydog during their visit in August 2022. Co-founders Matt and Lauren Thompson and the team make their rum from molasses. It’s a complex process and takes time, skill and devotion.

Lazydog’s Matt Thompson

Matt and Lauren set up Lazydog – inspired by their dog Gino – in 2019 after working in the construction industry, with no experience of distilling or selling spirits. They’ve worked incredibly hard to turn their dream into reality, crafting a delicious British rum.

Dojima Sake Brewery

Situated near Ely in Cambridgeshire, Dojima Sake Brewery UK at Fordham Abbey is, as far as we know, the UK’s only Japanese-run sake brewery. The family who own and run Dojima hail from Settsu Tonda in Kansai, Japan. They decided to set up here after their children came to study in Cambridgeshire. We highly recommend a tour of Dojima Sake Brewery and its Japanese gardens. It’s a fantastic experience and the food is excellent too.

Dojima Sake Brewery at Fordham Abbey near Ely

Nene Valley Spirits

Nene Valley Spirits at Sacrewell Farm near Stamford was co-founded by John and Jo Morris (pictured) and Leigh Taylor in 2020, becoming Peterborough and the Nene Valley area’s first distillery. John, Jo and Leigh named their superb gin series named after Roman roads and locally forage some ingredients for their drinks, including rosemary from Castor churchyard. Their latest creation is Avo, a unique liqueur made from avocado leaves. We highly recommend a visit to Nene Valley Spirits in The Makers’ Yard at Sacrewell Farm.

The author: