The distillery, perched above the historic, county town of Maidstone, produces a premium gin and will soon produce ‘Maidstone Hollands’ (a genever-style spirit).
Our Maidstone Gin has been hand-crafted on site giving customers the assurance that they are enjoying truly artisan spirit. Having learnt from the finest distilleries across the world we hope that you will enjoy tasting our spirits.
The Medway Brewery, where our distillery is housed, is a former brewery dating from the very early 1800s. The brewery also became home to Argles Bishop’s genever distillery until 1816. Argles had previously inherited the much renowned distillery of George Bishop, his uncle, along with two other relatives. However Argles fell out of favour with his relatives and decided to set up a rival distillery, which he did here at the Medway Brewery.
Maidstone’s most influencial distiller was Mr George Bishop (mentioned above). Mr Bishop, a Maidstone native, returned from Holland where he had learnt to distil to open his own distillery in the heart of Maidstone. He learnt his trade in Schiedam, which at the time was the centre of genever production (genever, although made with a light whisky base, was the forerunner to gin). Upon his return he built a large brick building on the south side of Bank Street which included other premises and yards for his distilling production. By 1789 his distillery was in full flow and it is said that 700 hogs were kept from the surplus grains. The distillery had national acclaim and produced 3000 gallons of Maidstone Hollands (also known as Maidstone Geneva) each week!
George Bishop changed history by petitioning the Legislature claiming his spirit production would reduce smuggling and increase duty for the Revenue. The Act was passed and production of genever, also known as ‘Maidstone Hollands’ commenced. His products soon gained a countrywide reputation for quality and for their extra strength! Sadly, the original distillery was auctioned off on Thursday 13th March 1817 at the Bell Inn. Here at the Maiden Distillery, 198 years later to the day, we have produced our own Maidstone Gin and will soon be producing our ‘Maidstone Hollands’ genever-style spirit along with several other spirits made by following recipes dating from the 1790s.