You won’t find us on any Whisky map, and you probably won’t have read anything about us either but tucked away in a small corner of the Northamptonshire countryside resides what is probably the smallest whisky distillery in England and in November this year our first few bottles will quietly be released to the world.
Image courtesy of Jake Seal Photography
Many companies out there allocate huge budgets to their marketing campaigns and like to shout about who they are and what they do. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Our approach is just different. People somehow just get to hear about us and, if they like what we do and how we do it, they spread the word. Sometimes however we think that we should make a little more noise.
When we started producing our apple brandy in 2011 it was ‘a bit of fun’, and a great upsell alongside our traditional ciders, mead and apple juice. By 2014 it was getting a little more serious with additional spirits and liqueurs making their way to market. Our Wharf Distillery brand was beginning to dominate our time and in 2017 we completed the transition from cidery to distillery.
Stepping back to 2015, and I honestly can’t remember if imbibing was involved, we conspired with Dan, founder of the Concrete Cow Brewery, to set about becoming England’s smallest whisky distillery. Three years later and the first leg of our journey into the world of whisky is reaching its end. As I sit here typing my eye occasionally glimpses the countdown timer in the corner of my computer screen. At 6pm this Sunday evening our malt spirit will become whisky.
Last week we were lucky enough to be invited for a private tour of another English whisky producer. It was a fantastic experience and so very different to our own modest setup. Surrounded by millions of pounds of investment it was difficult not to admire how quickly they had gone from idea to warehouse filled with hundreds of casks of whisky.
In some ways it made us feel a little like frauds. How could we possibly produce a whisky with such little investment and with such audacity. Who in their right mind would seriously contemplate producing whisky without pedigree. After much thought and consternation, it struck us that to worry about that was to miss the point. It’s not about the money, enormous stills, or heritage, it’s about taking an idea, the tools to hand, and adding passion and commitment.
Cattle Creep is all about the art of the possible. We never considered obstacles to creating our first whisky, we just did it. We simply followed a desire to craft something new and exciting and had fun along the way. Our humble distillery, nestled in the countryside, is about to become a proud parent again, and so the story and our own heritage continue to grow.