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ABOUT US

OUR STORY

THE EARLY DAYS IN LONDON

Sweetdram was founded in 2014 by Andrew MacLeod Smith and Daniel Fisher, who met in 2011 while studying for their Master’s degrees in brewing and distilling at Heriot-Watt University. After the course, the pair kept in touch to flesh out an idea they had for a modern drinks brand focused entirely on original flavour instead of conventional categories and repetitive trends. They started Sweetdram from a tiny but well-designed work space in Dalston, London.The initial concept for the brand was to become the industry's first ‘gypsy’ distillers, who collaborate with various distilling partners around the world to make one off expressions that push categorical boundaries in terms of flavour and style. Following an intense 18 month research and development phase, Andrew and Daniel travelled to France to jointly produce their inaugural product with the hugely historic Distillerie Combier, who are credited with inventing Triple Sec and boast a stillhouse designed by Gustav Eiffel (before he designed the internationally iconic Eiffel Tower). Sweetdram’s Escubac is inspired by an old Tudor recipe found for an elixir called Royal Usquebaugh, which originated in England but was later adopted by the French, who renamed it ESCUBAC. The spirit became obsolete in the early 20th century and stayed that way until 2015 when it was revived as a botanical spirit that sits somewhere between gin, aquavit, and herbal liqueurs in terms of flavour and style.

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BRAND INCEPTION AND DESIGN

The Sweetdram logo appears on every bottle as a mark of quality and assurance. It plays with the idea of separation during distillation, using four primary geometric shapes to construct the now-obsolete symbol for a ‘dram’. These shapes are reconfigured to give each product label its own unique visual identity while retaining a core aesthetic thread throughout the range. The bottles are instantly recognisable as a series on any shelf or back bar, with the vibrant colour palettes chosen to synesthetically reflect the flavour profile of the liquid.

The dram logo can also be found prominently displayed on all Scotch whisky releases as a seal of approval for the liquid inside. To add further distinction, each product comes packaged in the Sweetdram custom amber bottle. The simple design, based on the proportions of the Dram logo, focuses on form and function instead of try-hard embossing and unnecessarily thick bases. 

OUR FUTURE

Sustainability heavily influences all activities at the distillery, from buying toilet paper to the recovery of production waste.

Dan and Andrew use a state-of-the-art recirculating chiller to cool their condensers, saving around 2,000,000 litres of good, clean mains water from getting flushed down the drain each year. They also compost spent botanicals into feed for new botanicals, which are grown on-site in the distillery garden for limited-edition products, such as their Wild Absinthe.

The distillery garden, located at the front of the building, represents a core part of Sweetdram’s ethos. The team feel a regular sense of responsibility to take steps toward a more sustainable way of life. In doing so, they’ve teamed up with local businesses like Radicle Gardens to ensure the land use is maximised. Together, they have created a system for capturing rainwater, selected a range of plants and flowers that promote biodiversity, and are currently researching the feasibility of a green roof. Beyond using the fresh grown botanicals for distillery production, the team also keep a selection of herbs and spices for domestic use in an effort to reduce single-use plastic wrapped ingredients found in supermarkets.The act of taking these tiny steps reforms human habits to live off of what you have grown, not purchase what you think you need. 

SWEETDRAM EVENTS HIRE

Beyond the distillery and garden, the warehouse space has been converted into a 270 person capacity events space that will host a range of activities including brand launches, distillery tours, music gigs and private hire opportunities such as weddings and corporate events.

The building’s unique architectural structure accentuated by customisable fixed lighting and a state of the art ATC sound system has created a venue vibe never felt before in Scotland’s east coast.

We’re now open for booking enquiries. Please contact jamie@sweetdram.com.

“One thing I’m really keen to do ongoing is to build more of a community here around the space and throughout the building. It’s something we had to some extent during lockdown with all of the businesses that were renting floor space here and that community feel is something we’d like to continue with, nurturing and developing relationships with artists, musicians, other local businesses and charity projects.” - Jamie Wightman, Events & Building Manager

COMING SOON

Projected to finish by summer 2023, the team will be designing and building a new retail shop front and tasting room available to the public. In addition to selling the full Sweetdram range of spirits, the shop will also feature the work of our in-house partners Bon Accord Soft Drinks and Sail We Must Spirits. As a company with avid music collectors, we have plans to add a section in the retail space for both new and used records. You’ll even be able to buy the compost we made on site.

Come visit when it’s done! 

WHERE TO FIND US

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