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Crieff Hydro Group relaunch gin brand attracting interest from nationwide retailers

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Leading Scottish hospitality operators, Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels, has set its sights on the booming UK gin market as it prepares to relaunch its 1881 brand this month. 

The unveiling coincides with Charlie Leckie, a sixth generation member of the Leckie family, taking the helm of the award-winning gin distillery in Peebles to drive forward the growth strategy for the 1881 gin brand.  

The family run business has made significant £500,000 investment in upgrading the distillery to ensure supply can meet demand. The 1881 Gin Distillery is the UK’s largest residential gin school located within the 132- bedroom Peebles Hydro Hotel and resort, with a distillery classroom boasting 26 mini-stills. 

Charlie Leckie, 1881 Brand Manager, said: “We’re proud of the heritage of Peebles Hydro, which is embodied by the 1881 gin brand – it’s truly a very special product with a blend of carefully chosen Scottish botanicals and distilled in the heart of the Borders.

“The UK’s love of gin shows no sign of cooling off so this is an exciting time to be taking the product to market. We’ve carefully rebranded every element of our gin bottles and 1881 brand. Everything from the Label to the capsule, but the same multi-award-winning product remains inside.

“Every aspect of the bottle has been redesigned to reflect our story, with unique artisan illustrations for each flavour to represent our history and passion for the Borders and the product itself. We have ambitious growth plans for the 1881 gin brand with several new products already in the pipeline that are attracting the attention of nationwide retailers.

“We’re so proud of the final result and are delighted to share this with gin lovers across the globe.”

Stephen Leckie, Chairman and CEO of Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels, said: “We’re embarking on an exciting new chapter for our family business, repositioning our 1881 gin brand to more accurately represent our heritage and values. I’m proud to entrust my son Charlie alongside the experienced 1881 Distillery team to lead our efforts in taking this brand from strength to strength.”

The 1881 Distillery has been extensively redesigned over the past eight months with the refreshed branding for its core gin range across four flavours; Hydro Gin (40%), Pavilion Gin (40% ABV), Rafters Gin (40% ABV) and Honours Gin (57% ABV).

As well as an updated logo and bottle design, each expression will now feature its own unique illustration paying homage to both the heritage of the Hydro resort and the botanicals used in the gin itself. 

The 1881 Distillery is located within the estate of Peebles Hydro Hotel in the Scottish Borders. Named after the year Peebles Hydro Hotel was founded, 1881 gin uses local botanicals and a sustainable onsite Spring water source at Shieldgreen – the same mineral-rich spring originally famed for rejuvenating water treatments – to create a range of uplifting spirits.

Sandra Dawson, operations manager has been meticulously guiding the set up and operations of the distillery since the initial concept came about in 2018. In addition to coincide with this new chapter for 1881 gin a new lead distiller has been appointed, Dean McDonald, who recently completed a Post-Graduate MSc in Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University.

Served from all seven properties within the Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels, all 1881 gin products are also available to purchase online at www.1881distillery.com with international shipping. The core range is also stocked by various independent retailers and bespoke online stores. 

To view the latest products and gift packages or keep up to date on the latest news at 1881 gin, visit www.1881distillery.com



1881 Gin

The 1881 gin brand comprises four core products all sold as 70cl bottles; Hydro Gin, Pavilion Gin, Rafters Gin and Honours Gin.

Hydro Gin (40% ABV) is a blend of 12 Botanicals. The onsite Shieldgreen spring provides a sustainable source of rejuvenation and the inspiration for the flagship London Dry Gin.

Pavilion Gin (40% ABV) is a blend of 15 Botanicals creating Borders berry and hibiscus infused gin. Inspired by the Victorian Pavilion at Peebles Hydro and its connection to tennis as the Pavilion once overlooked more tennis courts than Wimbledon.

Rafters Gin (40% ABV) is a blend of 12 botanicals infused with Oka Oak smoked water. This subtly smoked revival gin is inspired by the resolve of the community after the inferno which engulfed Peebles Hydro in the summer of 1905 before being rebuilt. 

Honours Gin (57% ABV) is a blend of 12 botanicals. This navy strength gin is named in honour of those injured during WWII, a time when Peebles Hydro served as a military hospital. The heritage of hospitality is preserved in waves of Citrus and Cardamom.

Crieff Hydro Family

Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels is a collection of seven properties all set within iconic Scottish locations. Whether that be Perthshire, the Scottish Borders or the Highlands. The Family of Hotels includes something for everyone. From 21 to 215 bedrooms, onsite activities, various dining options, corporate events, team building, and leisure facilities.

Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels includes Crieff Hydro, Peebles Hydro, Murraypark Hotel in Crieff, The Park Hotel in Peebles, The Isles of Glencoe, Ballachulish Hotel and Kingshouse Hotel also in Glencoe.

For more information please log onto: https://www.crieffhydrofamily.com/

Stephen Leckie, Chairman and CEO of Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels

Stephen Leckie is Chairman and CEO of Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels. Mr Leckie heads up a family of seven hotels and is the fifth generation in his family to do so. Stephen is chairman of the Scottish Tourism Alliance and is President of the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce. He is an active member of the industry voice UK Hospitality and a member of the Scottish Government’s Tourism Leadership Group, responsible for overseeing the delivery of the national tourism strategy Tourism Scotland 2030. Since 2019 Stephen has represented her Majesty the Queen, as Lord-Lieutenant for Perth & Kinross.


For media enquiries please contact Beattie Communications:

Hazel Brynes – 01698 787860 | 07740 771 108 – hazel.brynes@beattiegroup.com 

Hayley Blackwood – 01698 787873 | 07971 749 044 – hayley.blackwood@beattiegroup.com