Duo launches lockdown distilling project No. 1 Fairham Gin

A serve with No.1 Fairham Signature Gin

Two amateur gin makers who took up distilling during the UK’s coronavirus lockdowns have launched their first product.

Ellis McKeown and Liam Stemson, from Penwortham in Lancashire, spent 12 months working on their No.1 Fairham Signature Edition Gin ahead of its release in March.

As a pair of gin lovers, Ellis and Liam wanted to create a gin as a way to show their love for the juniper spirit. Its name is a nod to the place where the idea was first conceived and where the Signature Gin recipe was developed.

Liam Stemson (left) and Ellis McKeown, founders of No.1 Fairham Gin
Liam Stemson (left) and Ellis McKeown, founders of No.1 Fairham Gin

Ellis, 26, who worked in social media and marketing, said: “We’re huge gin fans and it’s always been on our minds to make our own. Lockdown gave us time to perfect this and has allowed us to make our move into the craft gin market.”

Liam, 25, who has a career in sales, said: “People have said to us that there’s a lot of gin brands out there and aren’t we worried about the competition, but we wouldn’t just be doing it if we didn’t think we could add value and bring something different to the market.”

They brought on board Gerard Macluskey, the former Tanqueray and Gordon’s distiller who helped Masons of Yorkshire develop its gins, as a consultant master distiller.

Of the Signature Gin, Liam said: “There’s quite a citrus punch. It’s 100 percent vapour infused as well, which not a lot of distilleries do as a sole method, giving it quite a delicate flavour whilst also having a great smell.”

Ellis added: “We cut out the chill filtration stage during distilling to savour every flavour, so this means you may notice a pearlescent haze when the gin is chilled, mixed with ice or your favourite mixer. This is the way we want you to enjoy it and it allows the gin to give you a citrusy hit with every sip.”

No. 1 Fairham Signature Gin bottle
No. 1 Fairham Signature Gin bottle

In a bid to reduce their brand’s environmental footprint Liam and Ellis partnered with sustainable packaging producer Flexi-Hexi, which makes a plastic-free packaging alternative suitable for spirits bottles. They are also working to cut down the waste from unused fruit in their distilling process.

Looking to the future, Liam and Ellis say they are determined to keep their gin as local as possible. While they are currently distilling and packaging at a unit in nearby Leyland, they are keen to move production permanently to Penwortham.

For more details on No.1 Fairham Signature Gin, or to order a bottle, go to

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