Artisan gins crafted with wild Welsh botanicals foraged in the Dyfi Biosphere. Sound enticing? We met Danny Cameron, one of the founders of the enchanting Dyfi Distillery to find out more.
Dyfi Distillery was opened in 2016 by Danny and his brother and business partner, Pete, following a long term love affair with the UNESCO World Biosphere of Dyfi: an Eden-like valley on the southern fringes of Snowdonia National Park.
It’s here that they hand-forage the wild flowers, aromatic leaves and fruit that flavour their award-winning gins; which help to create a taste that could come from nowhere else.
“Gin brings together the diverse skills within the family,” says Danny. “I’m a wine and spirit professional, and Pete’s a hill farmer, forager, beekeeper and experimental scientist.”
Rare, hand-signed gin
The artisan gin they produce at their Corris distillery is ‘precision distilled’ in very small batches no more than once per week. “Perhaps a commercial mistake,” Danny admits, “but if we can’t forage the right ingredients, we won’t distill. We’re passionate about maintaining the balance of our fragile environment.”
In fact, all of the gins produced at Dyfi Distillery rely on seasonal botanicals – placing some restrictions on their distilling period. Their Pollination Gin is influenced by spring and summer botanicals, whereas their Hibernation Gin is influenced by later season crab apples, blackberries and bilberries.
Each bottle of gin is hand signed and batched numbered, showing the rarity and the personal effort put into every bottle.
A local connection
As well as providing gin to some of the finest luxury stores and Michelin-starred restaurants across the UK, Danny tells us how pleased they have been with the support from local people.
“We are lucky to have amazing support from local people, restaurants and inns, which we really appreciate. They seem very proud to have an award-winning distiller in such a remote valley.”
To give back to the community, Dyfi Distillery works with three local charities, including the Dyfi Osprey Project.
“We enjoy a two-way relationship with the Dyfi Osprey Project,” Danny told us. “The nature reserve has very low levels of pollution, making it an ideal place to harvest a small flowering shrub called Bog Myrtle. We donate to the Project each time we gather in the nature reserve, and we help with the sustainable management of the shrub in this environment.”
Powered by local nature
It’s only fitting that a business with such a sense of place would be powered by local sun, rain and wind. In fact, Dyfi Distillery is only 0.8 of a mile away from their nearest Good Energy generator, a hydro plant also in Corris.
“We’re a sustainable business at our very core,” explains Danny. “From the way we forage our botanicals to the way we source our energy. Choosing 100% renewable electricity from Good Energy completely aligns with our company and personal values. And we’ve been really pleased with the thorough support provided.”