FOX’S KILN DISTILLERY Heritage
Our gins are steeped in history distilled in an old malthouse established in 1888 as part of the rapid growth of Gloucester Docks in the 19th Century.
Dating back to Roman times, Gloucester had been an important trading centre on the River Severn, but it was the opening of the Gloucester to Sharpness Canal in 1827 that saw the city become a vital inland port.
Goods such as mainly grain and timber would be shipped up and down the canal and the River Severn including the barley that would be malted at Fox’s Kiln and then distributed to brewers across the country.
Malting is where barley is soaked, rested and then kilned to turn it into malt which is then mainly used for brewing beer, distilling whisky and malt can also be used in breads, vinegars and other food.
Fox’s Kiln was one of the last warehouses to be built around the Docks basin and it was designed by city architects JP Moore for S H Fox. The Fox family were prominent corn merchants and maltsters in Gloucester.
An inclined iron shoot would bring grain in from the neighbouring Great Western warehouse and hoists in the malthouse could be worked by ropes from a steam engine by Alexandra warehouse on the other side. Later, railway loading platforms were added with a track running to Great Western Railway marshalling yard.
It is unclear how long Fox’s Kiln remained a malthouse and it was later used to store grain and sugar up until the 1930s. But we are proud of its malting heritage and to see it come full circle with Fox’s Kiln now used as a brewery and distillery.