Actually Made In Manchester: A Conversation With Jen & Seb

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Since launching ‘Actually Made In’, we’ve been inundated with excitement and questions from distilleries across the country and even the world. We took some time out of the day to sit down with The Spirit of Manchester Distillery co-founders Jen & Seb, to delve deeper into the campaign.

 

What Initially Inspired the Idea of ‘Actually Made In’?

 

Jen: “After consistently being asked the question of whether we actually make our spirits, it made us realise this needed to be answered on a larger scale, and why not answer it with the most visual representation, here’s our still. We always communicate in our distillery tours that anyone can press their noses up against the glass and see us at work. 

 

We love the city that we’re in and our connection to it and being below the big conference centre here, called Manchester Central, we really couldn’t be more central. We want to shout about this and encourage other distilleries to do the same.”

 

What Does ‘Actually Made In’ mean to you and what parameters should a distiller fulfil to take part?

 

Seb: “Honesty, about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, ultimately being true to your brand. There’s a large difference between spirits brands and distilleries, we expect a level of honesty about which one you are. The difficulty of running a distillery is higher than it ever was, we feel the pain of the increased costs, but the flipside is you can’t be called a distillery if you don’t have a still. We want to dispel these narratives used when trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes.”

 

Jen: “We’ve seen an over 400% increase in our energy costs in the past few years, and whilst our bottle sales are on the rise, this percentage increase is far higher than that.”

 

Seb: “If you say you’re a craft distillery, we ultimately expect you to have a still in use. You know if you’re inferring something that’s not true, we simply expect honesty. We want brands to own their story and not use terms, phrases or half-truths to back up that story.”

 

Why should a customer care about where their spirits are actually made?

 

Jen: “There used to be a big focus on handcrafted and lovingly made, these were key things that people would look for, I’m not calling for a move back to the good old days as things move on, but true craftmanship should be celebrated.

 

I think people would be very surprised by how and where things are made, and as I do believe people want to support local, it’s important to ask the question “Are products truly locally made”, not just locally branded?

 

We would even pose this question to shops and restaurants that say they support local producers and suppliers, to what extent is this true and therefore is it a claim they should be making?”

 

What would you say to other distilleries that would like to be involved?

 

Jen: “Jump into it, show your production, show your stills. We’re going through a period of showing exactly how we make everything, follow suit and help this snowball into a showcase of how lovingly made your products are too.”

 

 

For more information, including personalisable assets, read our ‘Actually Made In’ blog: Actually Made In 

 

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