Richard and Rachel Trenchard were quietly building a widely admired brand of artisan gin, distilled and rooted in the landscapes of Bowland – and then the Hairy Bikers dropped in for a quick G&T…
After developing an interest in handcrafted small batch gins, which bordered on an obsession, Richard and Rachel Trenchard decided to use over a decade of amassed knowledge to launch their own artisan spirit brand from an additional outbuilding at their home in the shadow of Beacon Fell.
Being gin obsessives, their approach was meticulous – from botanicals which reflect the local area or promote the rich geography and heritage of Bowland, to the artwork for the label and the distinctive retro bottles, nothing was left to chance.
The end product was – perhaps unsurprisingly – a stand-out gin, which was an immediate hit with gin connoisseurs across Lancashire and beyond, winning a prestigious Gold award at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in 2019.
New bottlings – or ‘chapters’ joined the range – all remaining true to the couple’s core values of distilling an authentic artisan product inspired by – and rooted in – the Forest of Bowland.
Following on from the original Chapter One – Signature Gin, which is distilled with 14 botanicals designed to capture the essence of Bowland, was Chapter Two – Dark Skies – a deeper, more warming gin inspired by the glittering starscapes of Bowland’s velvety black night skies.
Further chapters and seasonal releases followed – including Hay Time – flavoured with summer aromatics sourced in collaboration with local farmer Peter Blackwell whose wildflower meadows are some of the most species-rich in Northern England. Richard and Rachel make a donation to conservation projects in the Forest of Bowland for every bottle of Hay Time gin sold.
Alongside producing award-winning gins, Richard and Rachel opened a gin school, allowing visitors to come along and handcraft their own gin. Their foraging and distilling dates allow visitors to collect and distil with foraged botanical following the guidance of an expert forager on the same day.
And as the nation emerged from the first lockdown, a pair of celebrity foodies dropped in to see what all the fuss was about. Dave Myers and Si King – better known as the Hairy Bikers – spent a day making their own gin for their popular BBC TV series The Hairy Bikers Go North.
Si and Dave clearly enjoyed the experience – and after the programme aired for the first time in September 2021, Richard and Rachel were inundated with bookings from across the country and beyond. In response to the surge in demand for their products and experiences, the couple recently opened a second outlet at Wyresdale Park, near Scorton.
As well as a shop retailing the entire range of gins and associated merchandise, Goosnargh Gin’s new Wyresdale outlet will soon be hosting gin schools and other events. While the new shop is open from Thursday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm, advance booking is essential for gin school. Check the website and social media for updates.
Visitors are always welcome at Goosnargh Gin’s two outlets, but check opening times on the website first. Booking in advance is essential for gin school and foraging courses.
IWSC Gold, Lancashire Life Awards Producer of the Year 2019, Lancashire Tourism Awards Taste Lancashire Producer 2019
Eccles Moss Farm, Bleasdale Road, Whitechapel Preston, PR3 2ER | Goosnargh Gin at Wyresdale Park: The Courtyard, off Sheep Street (behind the Applestore Café)
From the very outset, Goosnargh Gin’s artisan products have been rooted in the landscapes and culture of the Forest of Bowland and Richard and Rachel have always been committed to ‘putting something back’ into the AONB.
Donations from sales of the seasonal Hay Time gin raises funds for conservation projects within the AONB via local charity Champion Bowland, while a more recent seasonal release – ‘Dappled Light’ raises funds for the Landmark Trees project.
Where ingredients can’t be foraged locally, they are ethically sourced from organic suppliers and Goosnargh Gin are also holders of a Green Tourism Gold Award, underlining their commitment to sustainable practices.
Meanwhile, Richard and Rachel remain fiercely independent in their approach to growing their business.
“You will never see our products being sold through mass-market routes,” said Rachel. “All our retailers are independent businesses who share our passion for quality, know our ethos and values.
“This decision is at the core of what we do and ensures we are offering a real point of difference to our customers, retailers and on-trade establishments.”