How 1881 was created and brought to life:
Who would establish a distillery within a Scottish Borders luxury hotel? Who would see in the Hydro heritage of hospitality opportunity to re-channel a centuries-old natural spring into gin? Who would elevate the distillery a few feet above a Victorian swimming pool?
Our story begins in 1881, when Peebles Hydro opened its doors inviting city dwellers to escape to the country and “take the waters”. In other words to indulge in trendy treatments of the time.
From that day to this water is at the heart of Peebles Hydro. The source of our natural spring water supply then and now is Shieldgreen in the hills just behind us.
Our motto – from spring to spirit – represents the water that flows through our Hydro heritage and the elevation in joy and pleasure we hope to bring to our customers. We capitalise on our natural resources to create new ways to welcome people into our world.
“Let’s open a gin distillery”, said Patrick our General Manager – so we did.
Two years planning, a few different location choices and some huge learning curves along the way. We’re open for business. We worked with Jamie Baxter from Craft Distilling Services to develop a fantastic range. And Felicity (Patrick’s daughter) our beautiful 150L Arnold Holstein copper pot still produces the goods.
1881 is quite a new brand, introduced to the market late October 2019, so it has been quite a first year to launch a new initiative in the hospitality industry. During our times of closure we worked hard on our imagery as well as our vision and values. As we see it 2021 will be our year 1.
Our vision is to produce the best quality products, in great packaging that our consumers from 18 to 81 will love and come back for more.
We don’t just produce, we encourage others to produce their very own. Our gin school is a hands on visitor experience including a tour of the distillery and processes used will lead to the exciting bit – making their very own personalised gin for a small scale copper still. Accommodating up to 26 students at a time, it is certainly the largest gin school attached to a hotel in the country, perfect for gin experience packages.