Mark Marmont – 58 Gin
Distilled under a railway arch in Hackney, 58 Gin is a divine citrus spirit with a strong bergamot hit. Founder and distiller Mark Marmont developed a passion for gin when he was living near award-winning bar 69 Colebrooke Road, so it stands to reason that his is one made for mixing. At the time of writing 58 Gin has just reached something of a namesake milestone, having bottled up its 58th batch. We caught up with Mark to see how his gin is fairing in the busy market.
Congratulations, you just bottled up the 58th batch of Fifty Eight Gin! As far as milestones go, that’s a lovely one to celebrate. Did you tweak the formula at all to go with the higher ABV or is it the same gin?
Thank you very much! It has been a bit of a ride leading up to this point. We tried a couple of tweaks but all were not quite right. The best we found was the original formula. The higher ABV brings out different notes in the gin and makes a killer martini. We designed the wax to have a beautiful gold copper finish that took two months to perfect. We are now up to batch 75 – I can’t believe we are getting so close to 100.
From the outside, it seems like you are picking up momentum and you are growing in volume – do you feel it’s going faster for you now too?
January 26 will be 2 years since batch 1. It was just myself doing everything up until August this year. In April this year I had some investors approach me and invested into 58 Gin. It took the pressure in regards to cash flow, which is one of the hardest things as a small business. With the finance we increased the production of the distillery by adding a new 60L still. We also purchased 5 small stills for doing gin classes and corporate events. We have a new website going live very shortly where people can order direct. I have 2 new staff so now instead of doing everything myself I can be proactive instead of reactive.
What are some of the other big achievements of 2016?
The investment was pretty major. Imbibe was another big event sharing a standing with you guys, this was amazing for exposure and meeting new accounts. Meatopia at Tobacco Docks was a great partnership for us. We served 100 gin and tonics per hour for 3 days! We have recently been approved by Amazon (the world largest online alcohol sales) and have signed up with Specialty Drinks as a distributer. We picked up Silver at the International Wine and Spirits Competition, which is a huge accomplishment for us. Simon Difford awarded us five stars exceptional again this year too.
We’re slightly enamoured with the copper wax/label on batch 58 – any plans for some line extensions that could wear these colours permanently?
The limited additions with the copper labels and wax will stay only for special milestones. Batch 100, two year anniversary etc. We have some new products in the pipeline with some very nice custom wax so keep an eye on Instagram and our website for launches and updates.
Australia is in the throes of a gin obsession, currently. Any plans to take your gin back home?
We have just lodged our bonding application. Hopefully by the New Year we will be able to start exporting to other countries including back home. At the moment we are starting talks with overseas distributors. It’s going to be very exciting seeing the gin back home in Australia.
You mentioned you added to the team this year – who are they and how has this helped you grow?
I have two new staff Brad Price, Assistant Distiller and Carmen Dunphy Head of Operations. This has allowed me to now go out and see the different bars and accounts. My brain has had space now to start to get creative again with new products. Both are doing an exceptional job and don’t know how I ran the businesses without them.
What are the big plans for 2017?
We have two major things happening for 2017. Becoming a bonded warehouse will be big as we can get our product overseas and our new product launch, which has been in the pipeline for a year now.
Developing the distillery has been a journey for you and one of continuously looking to improve and learn, what do you wish you knew as a distiller when you started that you do now?
I think its just all the little things that end up costing you more money or more time like sole trader vs limited company, couriers and distributors to get your product out. Extra little things like VAT, PAYE which all take a toll on cash flow.
Admin always takes the fun out of it too… Lastly, what’s your favourite way of drinking your gin?
Copyright © Gin Foundry