Our People

Meet some of the team at Summerhall Distillery, makers of Pickering's Gin.

Published: 13th October 2018

For The Gin Cooperative, great Scottish Gin is in equal measure about the people as it is the actual gin. Our exclusive ‘Our People’ editorial feature series finds out what life is like working for a Scottish Gin business. The distiller, the brand ambassador, the social media manager, the office admin, the handyman, the cooper, the shop assistant, the delivery driver and more. It’s these dedicated, passionate and hardworking people we will meet over the course of the series that will hopefully give you a little insight into what working for a Scottish Gin business is really like.

Second in the series features some of the team from Pickering’s Gin. We visited the distillery and it quickly became clear why the team are so passionate about the spirits they distil and why the old Dick Vet at Summerhall is the perfect setting for their distillery, full of character and history.

Marcus Pickering, Co-founder of Summerhall Distillery

Responsibilities: Head of export, brand and innovation.

What does a typical day look like?

All that’s typical is that no two days are the same. One day I’ll be on a Chinese construction site planning the build of a Pickering’s Gin bar, next I’ll be restoring and fitting antique contraptions to our little Japanese fire enGINe. 

What’s the best part of your job?

Getting to use my imagination every day.

What is unique about your place of work?

Being located in Europe’s biggest independent arts centre. Me, my business partner Matt and our team are surrounded by innovative, creative people which is a brilliant and inspiring environment for us all to come into every day.

Heli Seymour, Trade Sales Executive

Responsibilities: I am responsible for selling our portfolio of Gins and looking after our trade customers from around the UK. I always like to make sure they have good stock of Pickering’s Gin and find new ways to promote and support sales to their customers.

What does a typical day look like?

A typical day working at Pickering’s Gin can vary greatly from driving our little Fire EnGINe around Edinburgh to hosting in-store tastings in independent bottles shops. I also like to keep in contact with our customers, processing orders and generally making sure everybody has plenty of gin!

What’s the best part of your job?

Working with a fun and creative team, there is always something new and exciting happening just around the corner. 

What is unique about your place of work?

Working above a gin distillery and being greeted every morning by a big waft of gin and botanicals is unique.

Chris Ross, Distillery Manager

Responsibilities: My key responsibility is to oversee all elements of the production in Summerhall Distillery. I must ensure that all the orders that come in to the distillery are fulfilled, whilst keeping to the necessary BRC regulations, liaising with suppliers, and ultimately meeting the wants and needs of our clients. As well as this, I am constantly on hand to greet people who walk through the door and want to know more about the home of Pickering’s Gin.

What does a typical day look like?

In my line of work, every day can be quite different. However, we do always work to a production plan that has been set up for that week, and if there are any changes to the orders that have come in, I will ensure that this plan is amended correctly. Typically, day to day, I will run the distillations, keep an eye on the production and the busy bottling line, and generally support both management and the distillers. A typical day most definitely involves a few cups of coffee!

What is the best bit about your job?

Having been with Pickering’s Gin since the very beginning, I have absolutely loved seeing the development and growth of the company. We started with Matt, Marcus, the General Manager, Dave and myself – a team of only 4 people! Now, we have a strong family team of 18, so it has been great to see how the growth of the company has led to the opportunity to work with so many different people.

What is unique about the company?

Even with its growth, we here at Pickering’s Gin still like to be very hands on with the products. Not only do we have a fantastic hand-crafted London Dry Gin, but we still also fill, cork, label and hand dip our bottles right here in Summerhall Distillery. Pickering’s Gin has a lovely personal touch to every bottle.

Jenny Allan, Visitor Experience Team Member

Responsibilities: My main responsibility is making sure that every single person who visits the distillery has had a wonderful experience. Whether it’s a group of friends visiting one of our Pickering’s Gin Jolly tours, a client visiting for a meeting, or if it’s simply somebody popping in to pick up a bottle of Pickering’s Gin, it is my job to make sure that everybody leaves Summerhall Distillery having learnt a little bit more about the very place where Pickering’s Gin is made. 

What does a typical day look like?

A typical day will involve arriving at the distillery in the morning, and checking through all the bookings for the tours that are taking place that day. We offer tours at the weekend, and it is myself and the Visitor Experience Manager, Victoria, who take people through the history of gin, the background of Pickering’s Gin and how the gin is made. To finish the tour, every guest enjoys three samples from our core range of gin. Typically, we offer three Gin Jolly tours a day, four days a week. However, this number can change, as we may have additional tours taking place, or teams from bars and restaurants visiting. Once all the tours of the day have bene conducted, I will check through any emails, arrange new bookings and tidy up the distillery.

What’s the best part of your job?

I love the excitement that the ‘gin craze’ has created, and that it drives people to learn more about the ‘ori-gin’ of their favourite tipple. We host all sorts of people on the tours, from groups who are visiting to celebrate a special occasion, to travellers who have never even tried gin before. On top of this, we are still a rather small team, meaning that I get the opportunity to help out in various areas of the company. One day, I might be working at an event. The next day, I might be hand dipping our bottles of Pickering’s Gin in wax.

What is unique about your place of work?

We are a gin distillery based right in the heart of Edinburgh, tucked away in the back of the arts venue, Summerhall. It is fantastic to be based in such a central location in Scotland’s capital city, welcoming visitors from all over the world.

You can learn more about Pickering’s Gin here.

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