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Sipsmith London is celebrating the completion of its refurbished tasting experience at their West London gin distillery. London based retail design consultants, Innovare Design, were commissioned by the gin brand to come up with a training area that reflects the Sipsmith passion for ‘things well made’. Everything Sipsmith does is with an eye to uncompromising quality, so they also appointed award winning British bartender and bar & drinks consultant, Chris Moore, to ensure that the function and form of the new cocktail creation zone met the exacting standards of today’s modern mixologists.

Lloyd Blakey, Innovare Design’s Creative Director said, “ We were delighted to have been commissioned for this project. Our brief from the team at Sipsmith was clear – to express the craft, character and uncompromising quality of their gin.” The unique Sipsmith distillery has been housed in a quiet Chiswick backwater since 2014. The heroines of their industrial space are undoubtedly the beautiful family of bespoke handcrafted copper stills – Prudence, Patience, Constance and Cygnet – but the on-site mixing and tasting station plays a key role in Sipsmith’s on-trade professional training, as well as being at the centre of tasting tours for the general public.

“Our aim has been to build on the Sipsmith experience – the depth of thought, passion and creativity that goes into every drop of gin they make,” explains Lloyd Blakey. “Our design solution needed to impress and inspire professional mixologists as well as trade buyers. We also wanted to surprise and delight visiting gin lovers who regularly tour the distillery”. The end result is certainly memorable. A 5m U-shaped copper topped counter now glows with pride while its mild steel base construction serves to ground it to the industrial space.

The Sipsmith brand identity forms the centrepiece for the back wall, with a 1.1 m green panel featuring a sculpted polished copper swan’s head and illuminated copper lettering. Either side of this brand panel are display shelves set into an iconic Victorian London map graphic wall that pays homage to the geographic origins of the brand. Centre-stage, below this brand wall, sits the hero product in glass balloons on display pedestals. The whole space is carefully lit with feature copper pendants and ceiling spotlights which focus on key elements and add to the drama.

Apart from the under-counter stainless steel and bespoke copper elements, the tasting station has been handcrafted on site. Before installation the area was stripped out then fully rewired and re-plumbed and a new screed concrete floor laid. Blockwork walls have been replastered and painted and the ceiling and rafters painted out in corporate dark grey black to help zone the area. “We are really thrilled with the end result. Lloyd and his team have successfully captured the essence of Sipsmith and created the perfect sipping space!

The feedback from visitors has been amazing.” Fairfax Hall, Co-Founder, Sipsmith. In fact Sipsmith has a lot to celebrate – they were recently accredited CoolBrand status for 2016/17 and have been voted as a Top 10 Trending Brand by The World’s 50 Best Bars every year since 2013. Established in 2009, multi-award winning Sipsmith has pioneered London’s gin revival, setting up the first copper pot gin distillery in London for nearly 200 years. nnovare Design consultants specialise in branded environments for the retail sector. They work collaboratively with clients in the UK, Europe and internationally.

Design and photography: Innovare Design Limited

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