Our Master Distiller
Our master distiller and owner, Nick, has spent the last 20 years at the forefront of the cocktail bar industry, creating stunning drinks and managing award winning venues such as Hurricane, voted by Dale De Groff at number two in the world’s best bars list. However he always felt the need to branch out and start his own story.
Nicks idea of heaven is 50ml original dry, 150ml tonic, 2 big ice balls, elegant highball glass and a slice of pink grapefruit. He has harboured a long standing ambition to create his own brand of gins for most of his working life. They would be inspired by the local Cheshire landscape and posses unique qualities. The ability to work in a wide range of cocktails and with tonic mixers would be key to their success.
It is this experience in mix-ology that allowed Nick to successfully turn his hand to distillation. Much of the skill set needed has been acquired over time with his experience of carefully pairing flavours together to create inventive cocktail menus. After an intensive period of study, distillers courses, trial distillations and exams, we made our first batch of Three Wrens in June 2019, and knew we had made something truly special.
Nick spent many months searching for the perfect premisses, travelling all over the county. In all that time The Old Coach House was there practically on his doorstep, just 5 minutes from his home. The day he learned it had become vacant, he had signed the lease within minutes of arriving to view it. Situated across the lane from the 12th century Cholmondeley (pronounced chumley) Castle and a stones throw from where Nick lives, the Old Coach House its perfectly located, compact and has a great layout. With a lovely farm shop next door and less than a mile away from a fabulous, award winning gastropub, (legendary for its gins) its well worth a visit.
Our big blue barn doors open on to a courtyard overlooking the forest. This enables us to host outdoor events in the summer months. Valerie, our 50 litre copper still, proudly stands on our mosaic tiled floor. We have a 16 seat tasting table, a cocktail bar, kitchen area and comfy sofa. Oh and we we mustn’t forget about Rocky, our labradoodle.
Visiting our Distillery
You’re guaranteed a warm Cheshire welcome when visiting our cosy distillery. At our tasting events you will be met by Nick and the team personally. You will enjoy an intimate and interactive experience with a hands on approach throughout. You will make gin, taste a range of varieties and compete in a shake-off to see who can make the best cocktail of the day.
In our gins you will find exactly ZERO artificial ingredients. Juniper is at the very heart of each expression and always will be. This is a matter of principal and pride. Our key values are integrity and passion. We firmly believe our customers are looking for authenticity and credibility in the gin brands they look at. We are there to guarantee those promises, and to create exceptional liquids for people to enjoy — True Cheshire Gin.
The Name & Inspiration
Wrenbury is a beautiful village famous for its fields of Wrens, and can trace its history back to 1100 AD. We are a family of three all from Wrenbury, hence the name — Three Wrens Gin.
Surrounded by beautiful woodland, nature is our biggest inspiration. We are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by outstanding natural countryside. Ancient woodlands with 50 edible plant varieties of roots, shrubs and flowers, are all within a few minutes walk. Its our own secret botanical garden within the grounds of the nearby castle.
We are constantly working on growing more organic ingredients that can push our gin to a new level. This is reflected in the spirits we produce.
Fir, Magnolia, Apple mint, Lemon balm and Angelica, are 5 of the botanicals in our original dry gin. We are fully self sufficient in them all and they grow in the forest around us and in pots outside the distillery. Distilling is all about preparation, this is where most of our time is spent. For our apple crumble gin my wife toasts the oats which are then soaked for up to 48 hours. We partially cook, vacuum seal and then chill our rhubarb with fresh vanilla pods for at least 8 hours before distilling.
We do of course distil traditional original gin too. All our gins have quite unique recipes. Everything is carried out by hand which ensures quality and that personal touch. Our ingredients are left in the spirit for at least 48 hours before distilling. Distilling is the next stage which takes around 4 hours to produce 50 litres of our gin.
Challenges & Achievments
There are three of us involved in the business, all residing in Wrenbury, Cheshire. Challenges included long hours, extensive licensing applications and associated paperwork. Finding the best and most reliable suppliers was more difficult than we anticipated. Long periods of paying out with no revenue coming in was also a worry at times.
Perfecting the recipes was no mean feat either. After many hours and over 200 distillations we finally started to nail down the gins. Nicks wife supported him greatly throughout the process while he worked 80+ hours a week and put up with his sleepless nights laying awake mulling over gin recipes.
Nicks brother, an architect by trade, was responsible for the branding design. Assisted once again by Nicks wife who also has a keen eye for design aesthetics. Their help enabled Nick to focus on sourcing high-end equipment for the distillery and explore recipes, botanicals and various methods of distilling.
Steeping, macerating and blending, with a lot of tasting, has resulted in the creation of three exceptional gins. It has taken great commitment and determination to get to where Three Wrens Gin is right now. Hard work that Nick is proud of and prepared to continue. A word of advice from him would be think twice before starting your own distillery, its harder than you might realise.
A weekly gin school after expanding the tasting area and three maybe four new recipes are all planned for 2020. Nick also promises to continue in his role as master distiller but would like some help with other tasks. Plans to employ local people to help with the business are already underway. From sweeping up and bottling to admin and accounts, there is much work to be done running an expanding the business. Thankfully all plans are going well and should be completed by Christmas, ready for the new year.
Nick feels truly blessed to be living the life he has dreamed about for many years. All thanks to the support of his family and friends, long hours and a lot of hard work, he is excited to see what the future holds.