Three years ago we formed CHX Distillers in France and the UK, an off-piste ambition (pun intended!) to create mountain gins from Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, the adventure capital of Europe. Why not create alpine mountain gins for all seasons when the hometown is more bustling in the summer than winter?
We are delighted to have been awarded ‘Best Craft Spirit SME 2021’ for Altitude Alpine Dry Gin, in the Greater London Enterprise Awards, which not only celebrates the capital’s finest businesses, but in particular the dedication and innovation of adapting and weathering the Covid-19 storm. In this case, the temporary on-trade closures, audience behaviour and complexities around Brexit.
Altitude Gin sales grew +376% yoy in 2020 with a focus on e-commerce and online retailer support. With bonded warehouses in both UK and France, the latter now serves as a distribution hub for the rest of the EU and importantly, the Amazon marketplaces. The relationship with the No1 online gin subscription club, Craft Gin Club, continues to strengthen, with Altitude Gin showcased in the 2020 Christmas TV ad reaching 72M adults across the UK and voted the ‘best tasting gin on record’ amongst its members.
The unique botanical formula of Altitude Gin continues to win global awards and become internationally recognised. In the last year, Altitude has won a Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2021, Gold at the Gin Masters 2021 and Gold at the Women’s Wine & Spirits Awards 2020 - outperforming thousands of other gins all over the world in the much coveted London Dry Gin category.
With the ongoing threat of climate change, the business realises the importance of protecting Alpine culture and its nature, so have a new 2021 committed sustainability programme partnership with Chamonix-based The Research Centre for Alpine Ecosystems (CREA Mont-Blanc), supporting scientific projects measuring the impact of climate change in the Alps and crucially, feeding results into key decision makers to take action.
Covid-19 hit hospitality as hard as any sector in England. Recovery is beginning, but the deferred crisis of Brexit and the fresh pressure of test, trace, and isolate rules are both biting, which spotlights the ongoing importance of e-commerce and off-trade relationships.
CHX Distillers is currently live with an investment campaign, raising funds to support global acceleration, develop a distillery in the hometown of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, drive e-commerce and broaden the portfolio of delicious alpine gins to the stable.
The SME Awards celebrate success stories across the capital. As a small business, in a saturated market, we are flattered that our diligence has been recognised. It certainly doesn’t stop here though!