The 6 O’Clock Story
6 O’clock Gin is a craft gin brand patiently distilling strikingly smooth artisan gins in small batches, using traditional skills and only the best natural ingredients. They are owned and operated by the family-run artisan spirit company Bramley & Gage, based in Thornbury on the outskirts of Bristol. They pride themselves on the care and attention in their master distiller’s expertise, which they have nurtured and developed over more than 30 years of operation.
Their story starts back in 1988, when Edward and Penny Kain owned the Dittisham Fruit Farm in the South of Devon. Looking to diversify and put their surplus fruit to good use, they started making and bottling delicious liqueurs and selling them in local retail outlets, with some considerable success.
A few years later they sold the fruit farm, but retained the liqueur-making business and named it Bramley & Gage. Sales continued to grow steadily as wider distribution was achieved throughout the country. Edward had always enjoyed home-brewing, and it was during this time that the first incarnation of the family gin recipe was created as a base for his excellent sloe gin.
In 2007, Michael and Felicity took over their parents’ now prosperous distillery and moved the business to Bristol. Edward remained involved in the business as Master Distiller, bringing his experience, skill and precision to the challenge of creating a new artisan gin for the premium spirits market. Together they set about perfecting the family gin recipe. The wonderful flavour of 6 O’clock Gin emerged through experimentation: carefully selected botanicals, led by juniper, precisely balanced for a refreshingly clean taste.
The 6 O’clock Gin name was inspired by a long-held family tradition of indulging in the first G&T of the evening at 6 o’clock; a very British custom, still enjoyed at the distillery and shared by gin-lovers all over the world.
Three years later, 6 O’clock Gin was launched to the market and sales took off, with immediate distribution gained through the channels already established with the handcrafted liqueur range.
Then came Kathleen, a new, larger copper-pot still, specially designed and commissioned for the production of 6 O’clock Gin. Kathleen’s distinguishing feature is her double-sphere head that increases the contact between the evaporating alcohol and the copper; this combined with increased amounts of reflux, ensures the striking smoothness for which 6 O’clock Gin is known.
Their intention has always been to build a well-thought out core range of classic gins that will stand the test of time. Their selection currently consists of their flagship, strikingly-smooth London Dry, in its iconic Bristol-blue glass bottle, which serves as the spirit base for the rest of the range. There are two fruit gins, Damson and Sloe, which are notable for having at least twice the maturation time of other similar gins on the market; and an exquisitely engineered export-strength spiced London Dry gin called Brunel.
Proudly British, they are very clear about their values. Although the traditional skills in the making of their gins have been taken from the farm and perfected in a more modern industrial environment, their approach to the craft of distilling remains the same. It is both calculated and precise, using their knowledge and expertise to ensure consistent quality and their signature smoothness. They firmly believe in and value the ethos of craft gin and will continue to handcraft 6 O’clock Gin in small batches using their traditional skills, albeit with a modern twist, and only the best natural ingredients for many years to come.