Lowestoft Journal Awards 2021: Meet your business owner of the year

Chief distiller and director of The Lowestoft Distillery Company, Grant Bartlett.

Chief distiller and director of The Lowestoft Distillery Company, Grant Bartlett, has been crowned as the business owner of the year in The Journal 2021 awards. - Credit: The Lowestoft Distillery Company

The owner of Britain's most easterly distillery has toasted success with a special recognition. 

Chief distiller and director of The Lowestoft Distillery Company, Grant Bartlett, has been crowned as the business owner of the year in The Journal 2021 awards.

Based in a unit at the North East Suffolk Business Centre on Pinbush Road in south Lowestoft, the Lowestoft Distillery Company is a premium micro distillery that produces hand crafted spirits and provides bespoke distilling services.

With the unique artisan spirits created by Mr Bartlett, the small micro distillery - which was conceived, created and crafted in Lowestoft - was founded in July 2017.

Of the award win, Mr Bartlett said: "It is such a nice surprise to win an award like this - something that was voted for by the local community, which is really nice. 

"The company was formed back in 2017, and between 2017 and the middle of 2018 most of the time was spent getting all the equipment, acquiring the necessary space for a micro distillery and then getting all the appropriate licences and approvals required.

"I started working on an Old Tom style gin and after coming up with the recipe, it led to the premier creation of Old Tom Crisp Artisan Gin.

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"It only seemed right to name our spirits after Lowestoft's local history, so I got in touch with the family of Tom Crisp - local hero and Victoria Cross bearer - and we had a soft opening at The Ship Inn in Pakefield with some of his family attending the unveiling from the midlands.

"The business followed on from there, with Obdam's premium orange gin the next gin out in 2019."

Old Tom Blue - a premium handcrafted artisan gin - followed as Mr Bartlett continues to promote "local gins and local history."

He said: "I introduced something fairly unique early this year, and I think at the time it may have been a first for the UK - a naturally Blue Navy Strength Gin called Old Tom Blue.

"It has been a great hit with the public."

With the spirits 100 per cent handcrafted in Lowestoft, Mr Bartlett said: "I'd like to think that every spirit we create tells a story.

"A little something about Lowestoft highlighting it's rich history and culture."

Mr Bartlett thanked his family, Joanne, Robyn and her partner Danny, and Faye for all their support as well as Charlie Coote at the The Ship Inn in Pakefield, Charlotte Johnson for helping design and produce the current labels, Jackie Waight - the site manager at the NESBC where the distillery is based - and Bryan Newnes at Russell & Newnes Independent Wine Shop in Aldeburgh.

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