Harrogate gin producer leads way as drinks exports rise

Mike Carthy (right) with fellow Spirit of Harrogate co-founder Marcus Black. (S)
Mike Carthy (right) with fellow Spirit of Harrogate co-founder Marcus Black. (S)

Spirit of Harrogate, which produces Slingsby Gin, has seen an upturn in overseas trade as the sector toasts record export sales.

The latest figures from the Department for International Trade show that UK exports reached £639.9bn in the year to February 2019, an increase of 3.1 per cent on the previous year.

Goods exports in the same period remained particularly strong, increasing by 3.5 per cent to £353.2bn, and exports of beverages – including gin – reached a high of £8.3bn in the year to February 2019, increasing by 7 per cent on the previous year.

Spirit of Harrogate has seen an increase in exports across markets including New Zealand, Germany, Malta, Finland, Denmark and Croatia.

Company co-founder Mike Carthy said: “We’re very proud that British gins are being so well received across the world.

“When we launched the Spirit of Harrogate and Slingsby, everything had to reflect the essence of Harrogate and its traditions as a place where people could relax, indulge and socailise, taking us back to Victorian Britain and the heritage of the town.

“The response from international buyers has been extremely positive, and we look forward to opening up in new markets and developing our brand further afield so that more people can enjoy our award-winning products.”

Since its launch in November 2015, Spirit of Harrogate has developed a range with five different types of Slingsby gin, a Slingsby vodka and two ‘gin experiences’.

Speaking about the export figures, Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox, said: “The UK’s drink industry has global appeal and it’s fantastic to see the sector continue to deliver real tangible economic benefits for the UK.”

The strong export figures follow the launch of the Government’s Export Strategy last year, which set an ambition to increase exports as a proportion of UK GDP to 35 per cent.