THE START OF YORKSHIRE GIN
It all began in North Yorkshire’s small market town of Bedale. Having tried lots of other gins whilst in pursuit of a gin that tasted different and wasn’t just a different label, our founders, Karl and Cathy Mason, decided to take matters into their own hands.
Karl and Cathy always had an unwavering belief that, when it came to gin, doing things the right way without compromise would lead to the very best outcome. It was a brave new world for gin at the time, but with a simple mission to create the very finest gins, Yorkshire’s first gin distillery burst to life. And thus, on World Gin Day in 2013, Masons Yorkshire Gin was born.
Creating a distillery right on the doorstep; bringing craft and workmanship to the area and employing people locally, was of the utmost importance. Weekends suddenly became workdays for Karl and Cathy, where they would sell Masons Gin at local markets and start bedding in the Masons name.
What followed next was an extraordinary leap forward. People got in touch with fantastic comments and feedback and they asked for Masons by name. Recognition in the form of national and international awards started flooding in. Yorkshire’s best bars, pubs and restaurants started selling Masons and recommending it with pride.
When Masons’ popularity soared, Karl and Cathy saw an opportunity to introduce more gins to the range. This included our iconic Tea Edition, featuring Yorkshire Tea of course, as well Lavender Edition and Peppered Pear Edition. With our new additions winning awards at the highest level world-wide, Masons quickly became Yorkshire’s most awarded gin brand.
The team started to grow and in September 2017, Masons moved into a new distillery in Aiskew on the edge of Bedale. Our affectionately named copper stills – ‘Stevie & Leftie’ – were set to work, distilling around the clock to keep up with demand.
OUR RISE FROM THE ASHES
On 2nd April 2019, everything changed for Masons when a fire broke out.
Fortunately, no-one was hurt, but the distillery was completely destroyed, and the stills were forced out of production. After leading the revival of gin in Yorkshire and years of successful growth, within just a few hours, everything went up in smoke.
It was enough to kill off any business instantly. However, something remarkable happened.
Yorkshire’s seemingly unquenchable thirst for their favourite gin saw people flocking from far and wide to help. Staff, community, industry colleagues and the fire services rallied round to keep Masons going. We had always believed in the power of the Yorkshire spirit, but the support we received really touched us to our core.
Thanks to this support, we were able to open a brand new, purpose-built distillery in March 2020. This time featuring ‘Tony’ the still, a cutting-edge gin laboratory, a visitor facility and our own Masons Gin Bar, this marked our new beginnings and an exciting chapter of the Masons story.
Sadly, within 2 weeks of opening, the entire country went into lockdown with a new crisis that impacted every single person within the UK. This included the painful closure of all our fantastic bar, pub and restaurant customers as well as the halting of amazing events, fairs and shows we attend across the UK. As ever, the team have pulled together and are working hard to ensure Masons Gin continues to be available online and in shops, as well as some exciting projects which we will update on very soon.
MADE THE MASONS WAY
Here at Masons, we do things differently. It’s what sets us apart from the rest.
There’s old school and new school. Big brand, small batch (as well as everything in between), and a gin from almost every location on earth.
And then there’s our way.
In our pursuit to create the best gin possible, we know that only by dedicating the time to doing things right will we get the exceptional quality and taste that Masons is known for.
No gimmicks. No shortcuts. No compromises.
Gin made with love and care. As it should be.