Plymouth Gin Distillery
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The Plymouth Gin Distillery in The Barbican, Plymouth, England has been in operation since 1793 and used to be a significant manufacturer of gin in the UK. Also known as the Black Friars Distillery, it is the only gin distillery in the city.
The original building opens on to what is now Southside Street and is located in what was once a Dominican Order monastery, built in 1431. It is now a bar with bistro above, and historical distillery equipment is displayed behind acrylic glass. Local tradition has it that some of the Pilgrim Fathers may have stayed here while the Mayflower was in the harbour for repairs before finally setting sail to North America. Since 2005 the brand and premises have been owned by the Scandinavian V&S Group, better known for making Absolut Vodka, who in turn were later acquired by Pernod-Ricard.
Plymouth Gin is still made here, and in recent years there has been an increase in the popularity of the distinctive sweeter and lighter but stronger Plymouth flavour, compared to the more usual London Dry Gin. The company has produced a large range of promotional items, including Dartmouth Potteries Gurgle Jugs, miniatures, glasses, ashtrays, match strikers, etc. Many of these have become very collectable.
On the afternoon of 27 February 2008, the building was substantially damaged by a kitchen fire starting in the nearby (and that time recently opened) Barbican Kitchen, which has subsequently re-opened.
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