Thames Distillers Ltd., Clapham, London, England, UK.
established Thames Distillers in 1996, with a consortium of 4 other directors: Anthony
Chapman, Christopher Parker, Ian Lockwood and Charles Hayman (of Hayman
Distillers Ltd) who owns 20%. They are an independent Gin producer (rectifier
and bottler), making bespoke offerings for their business customers to sell.
They have developed many Gins (mostly for the UK and Spanish markets) and
produce around 50 different brands, many winning international awards, and in
2000 produced the world’s first Organic London Dry Gin – Juniper Green.
Thames has a range of distilling equipment including a century old John Dore & Co. copper pot still, cold vacuum stills (used to produce Oxley Gin for Bacardi) and two 500-liter stills made of stainless steel, called Tom Thumb and Thumbelina. Tom Thumb was built in 1984 and was the last one made by John Dore & Co. Ltd. before they moved their operations out of London. The Distillery’s bottling facilities produce around 2.5 million bottles of Gin per year, not to mention bulk spirit provided to customers for their own bottling.
Wellwood George Charles Maxwell (his full name) is the 8th generation of a family who has been producing Gin in London since the 1680’s, making them the oldest unbroken lineage in Gin distillation. George Bishop (his great-great-grandfather), having completed his apprenticeship to the Worshipful Company of Distillers, established his own London based Distillery. This was eventually taken over by Joseph Bishop in 1740, who called it Finsbury Distillery, and went on to develop Finsbury London Dry Gin and Stone’s Ginger Wine.
Finsbury Distillery was acquired by Matthew Clark in 1964, a drinks importer, distributor and wholesaler established in 1810. Charles Maxwell joined the family business (Matthew Clark) in 1976, becoming a Director in 1980 and then Managing Director of Finsbury Distillery in 1986. He became a Director of Matthew Clark Holdings in 1989 and left in 1992 to go on and found Thames Distillers - no doubt in light of the forthcoming sale of Finsbury Distillery to the German company Borco Marken Import GmbH & Co KG in 1994. Charles has inherited over 300 years of family knowledge and recipes and today, besides being Managing Director of Thames Distillers, is the President of the English Distillers Association.