A very Happy New Year to everyone, and here's hoping for a fantastic 2023 ahead for you all!
We're a small team here at Tappers so it's a rare occasion for us to have the chance to completely switch off from our work, but the team were fortunate to take a well-deserved break over the festive period after a very busy few months in the lead-up. I must admit that it feels as though the holidays were over in the blink of an eye! I was lucky enough to spend mine in Vienna as I did in 2019 - a city I love dearly. After all, what's not to like about a culture built around coffee and cake? There's also the fact that Christmas in Vienna reminds me of my childhood: the focus is on small pleasures (say, apple strudel and ice skating) and of course family - the simplicity of the occasion makes for immense relief when compared with the chaos and over-indulgence of Christmas in the UK.
Views over Vienna from the Wiener Riesenrad
A look back on 2022
Vienna was a welcome respite at the end of another incredible year at Tappers that saw our family-run Distillery move to a new purpose-built location and the commissioning of a beautiful 500L Holstein Still from Germany, by none other than Jamie Baxter, godfather of modern craft distilling in the UK. With it, we were thrilled to finally have capacity to launch our flagship Brightside Coastal London Dry Gin into Waitrose stores nationwide and on Waitrose Cellar, alongside our grown-up pink gin for gin lovers - Tickled Pink by Simon Rimmer.
Jamie Baxter at the helm - "hard astern!"
A busy calendar of events in the new Gallery Bar and the opening of our on-site Distillery Shop have both been great opportunities to welcome the public into our space with arms wide open and to shout - "look, here we are and this is what we are all about!"
While I look fondly at the 60L alembic stills that brought us to this place through blood, sweat and tears, there's nothing quite like holding a gin tasting while glancing down at all 500L-worth of beauty in Lena, the newest member of the family, and it's been wonderful to showcase our brand, production techniques and resulting liquids to everyone who has taken the time to visit.
Isn't she a beaut?
We've always been unique in this - when I founded Tappers in 2016, our mission then, as it remains today, is one of transparency, integrity, and honesty. Opening our doors enables us to demonstrate what a real, genuine, craft distillery here in Merseyside looks like and, as I say to our guests glancing over at pallets and boxes and equipment in our loading bay: "that includes warts 'n all"! Manufacturing does come with the less glamourous aspects of packing and dispatch, it's true.
Just as we've welcomed the public into our space, so too has the trade welcomed Tappers into theirs. The past 12 months have seen a growing number of stockists across the country, from independent pubs, to prestigious city-centre bars, and family-run shops - we seem to be popping up here, there, and everywhere. Of particular note (I think), we now count Callooh Callay, The Prince Akatoki, Jake's Bar, The Garrick Club and the North West venues of The New World Trading Company (Florist, Botanist, Smugglers Cove and Clubhouse) among those locations where you'll find Tappers served perfectly with exceptional hospitality in beautiful surrounds.
The Garrick Club - where we like to think Darkside serves as muse for artistic inspiration
A look ahead to 2023
A reflection on 2022 is all well and good, but what then of the year ahead - what delights do we have in store?
Plenty, as it happens!
We'll be working away of course on bringing Tappers to more venues near to you, as we build on existing relationships and forge new ones over the next 12 months with our partners and friends in the trade.
I've also made the decision, succumbing to pressure from said friends in the trade (!), to introduce another 70CL variant to the line-up for an existing product that goes down particularly well during summer months...watch this space for an announcement in the coming weeks on social (follow us @tappersgin) and via our mailing list!
This year also brings with it two fantastic events. Eurovision returns to the UK (albeit on behalf of our friends in Ukraine) just across the water from us in Liverpool this May after 25 years, and of course our good friends and stockists at The Royal Liverpool Golf Club down the road in Hoylake will play host to The Open Championship in July - the 151st in the series.
The 151st Open Championship will take place down the road in Hoylake, Wirral this July
We'll be celebrating these festivities in true Tappers style, with some special releases and Distillery experiences to coincide - again, watch this space and keep up-to-date to avoid missing out by following us on social (@tappersgin) and subscribing to our mailing list.
Of course we'll also be opening the doors to the Gallery Bar here at Merseyside's largest craft distillery for another round of experiences and events. Gin 'n Jazz has proven so popular that tickets are now selling out a month or two in advance! We're adding additional regular events to the calendar - an evening of mystery and magic with our resident magician promises to be mind-boggling and great fun all at once, while a Stand Up Comedy Night promises to bring some of the North's finest talent into our space for some side-splitting performances.
At a time when the world seems so unpredictable and times so challenging, it's crucial now more than ever that we offer the chance for people to set aside their worries for a brief few hours by joining us to create some wonderful memories. Let tomorrow wait.
I hope you've enjoyed reading, and until the next time,
10th January 2023