The Future of GinClaire Fletcher, Co-Founder at Lussa Gin.
Published: 30th October 2019
The Future of Gin asks Scotland’s gin makers and distillers their thoughts on what the future of Scottish Gin looks like. How important is sustainability, technology, geographical protection and provenance to them?
In this feature we meet Claire Fletcher, co-owner of Lussa Gin, which is based on the Lussa Estate on the Isle of Jura, off the West coast of Scotland. Lussa Gin was established by Claire along with her two other co-founders Alicia MacInnes and Georgina Kitching. All three call the Isle of Jura home and all share an affinity for the island, the way of life, the landscape and the community. They also share a close affinity for gin, which led to the three friends starting the Lussa Drinks Company in July 2015 and launching Lussa Gin in 2016.
What’s your name and what do you do?
Claire Fletcher, co-owner of Lussa Gin and I head up Sales & Marketing.
Some have said we’re currently in a gin bubble – would you agree or disagree and why?
The idea of a bubble is that it’ll burst when it gets too big and I think we’re heading that way because the market is swamped with hundreds of brands of gin, but we’re not there yet. Consumers are still trying and buying and there’ll be opportunities for markets other than the UK.
Where do you see Scottish Gin in 5 years time?
In five years I’d like to think that Scottish Gin has earned itself a reputation for producing a world class spirit and is supporting a diverse mix of craft distilleries alongside the big players.
What do you think is the ‘next big thing’ in the world of Gin?
I don’t think there’s room for another big thing in the world of gin, but I do think it’ll come in the form of the creation of more interesting mixers for gin.
What would you like to see more gin makers doing in the future?
Every business is unique but I think we need to come together and create a plan to protect and promote the product.
What are the long term plans for Lussa?
We’re planning on doubling production but still retaining the core of our brand, which is the connection to our place at the north end of the Isle of Jura. We’re also working on creating more of a destination for visitors.
Do you think technology will play a more important role in the distillation process?
Not hugely for the small scale distilleries. The process has remained pretty unchanged for hundreds of years for a reason, which is that it works. However, there’s room for technology in terms of bottling and packaging, particularly to improve the impact on the environment.
Can you give an example of innovation in your business?
We innovate in lots of ways – we’re growing our own botanicals including juniper and orris root and we also use methods other than drying to store our botanicals. We recently won Innovation of the Year at the 2019 Scottish Gin Awards for the way in which we freeze our botanicals.
Would you like to see a Scottish producer making contract NGS?
We’re really happy with our supplier – it’s all about the quality of the spirit rather than the postcode.
Should gin makers have geographical protection for their gin?
I think this is difficult to police but I would like to see gin makers who use their location in their marketing being more transparent about where their gin is actually made.
What support would you like to see available for Scottish Distillers?
It would be great if we could get together to consolidate export opportunities and also distribution, particularly for those of us on the islands.
Are you finding gin consumers are more aware of provenance and want to know where a gin is made and who made it?
We get asked all the time if we make it ourselves, to which the answer is yes.
You can learn more about Lussa Gin here.