Gin on fire

You may have already heard about the potentially devastating fire in Plymouth, England, that torched the old Blackfriars Distillery, home of Plymouth Gin and the soon-to-return to the U.S. Plymouth Sloe Gin. Here’s what U.S. brand ambassador Simon Ford shared with us:

Friends,

You may hear that the Black Friars distillery caught fire today and I just wanted to give you an update as I spoke with Sean Harrison (Master Distiller).

The good news is that that the pot still and general production facility is still intact as is the oldest part of the building, The Refectory. Also the front view of the distillery does not look different and it will not affect the launch of the Sloe Gin as that part of the building was safe also.

The bad news is that we lost the restaurant which from what I hear is in pretty bad shape and they completely lost the roof.

8 fire engines came to the rescue and for the second time in Plymouths history the distillery has been saved from fire (the 1st time being in World War 2 when it was hot by a couple of bombs).

I am now relieved and think I may need a martini.

Simon

Fire hits historic Barbican area
(BBC News, Wednesday 27, February, 2008)

Parts of Plymouth’s historic Barbican are closed as firefighters tackle a blaze at Black Friar’s Distillery.

Fire hits historic Barbican area

Plumes of smoke can be seen from across the city

Firefighters have been tackling a blaze at a restaurant in Plymouth’s historic Barbican area. Emergency services were called to the fire at a restaurant in the Plymouth Gin Distillery in Southside street at about 1600 GMT.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the restaurant was evacuated and the surrounding area closed.

Residents were moved from their homes in nearby Hoegate Street. No-one was trapped or injured in the fire.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said eight fire engines, including an aerial platform were deployed.

Crews found fire in a first floor kitchen, extractor trunking and possibly in the roof of the three-storey building which houses the Plymouth Gin distillery and the Barbican Kitchen Brasserie, run by the Tanner brothers.

Fire commander Pete Smith told BBC News the fire was under control, but crews would remain damping down and watching for hotspots to ensure the fire did not take told again.

He said the fire had caused extensive damage, but most of the distillery building had escaped. Eyewitness Fay Jones said massive plumes of smoke had been seen coming from the distillery. The cause of the fire is not known.

Black Friars distillery has been the working home of the world famous Plymouth Gin since 1793. The building dates back to the early 15th Century and was formerly a monastery of Black Friars.

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