A LOCAL gin micro-distillery has picked up a major industry award just a few months after being founded in the district.

John Robert’s Botanic Request is run by Wibsey-born gin expert Ben Peel and his partner Emelie Nilsson at their home in Woodhall.

The gin is produced using unusual, high-tech techniques to extract delicate, different flavours from botanicals to give the gin a unique taste.

This radical approach has been recognised with the awarding of a Silver Medal in the prestigious 2021 Global Gin Masters competition.

The competition is run by industry publication The Spirit Business, and recognises the best new products from the gin world.

Being recognised with a silver award is a huge honour for the company, which only launched at Easter.

Mr Peel, 36, said: “Competitions like this are an opportunity to step foot on the global platform and stage to have your craft and skills as a distiller and liquid innovator recognised, validated and commended.

“It is also a great way to sit shoulder to shoulder or go toe to toe amongst some of the more established bigger and recognised brands.

“The competition is blind tasted and judged purely on the Gin/Liquid itself by some of the industries leading and respected palates.

“It’s quite the buzz going from a worldwide recognised premium brand like Sipsmith as their innovations distiller, to quitting and leaving the London bustle to start our own small unique distillery and liquid lab back home in a suburban garage here on the edge of Bradford and Leeds, to then getting our gin, spirit and hard work recognised on a global forum like the Gin Masters.

“We couldn’t be prouder!”

Mr Peel hails from Wibsey but his career as a bartender has taken him from The Windmill and Ancient Foresters in the village to Switzerland, where he and Emelie first met, Hong Kong, Sweden and eventually London.

After enjoying careers in the capital they have returned to Mr Peel’s hometown to launch their own brand.

The gin is already stocked at venues in Bradford including Al’s Juke Bar and the Boar & Fable in Bradford city centre and Al’s Salt Bar in Saltaire, and Mr Peel said his dream is to have it stocked at the Odeon when Bradford Live opens.

The unusual techniques used to create the gin include vacuum pressure maceration to extra flavours from harder botanicals, and ultrasonic sound to remove delicate flavours while leaving unwanted flavours behind.

Production on the second batch of John Robert is set to get underway soon.