Bristol Cathedral Launches Chapterhouse Gin

Chapterhouse Gin was inspired by herbs and spices grown and used by monks like those who lived, worked, and worshipped in the Augustinian abbey which later became Bristol Cathedral and has been created with local spirits producer, Espensen Spirit and so named for the Cathedral’s own Chapter House, synonymous with all our cathedrals.

Bristol Cathedral is following the tradition and heritage of its ancestors with the launch of its own brand gin.

The production of gin has been co-funded with the Friends of Bristol Cathedral.

The Very Revd Dr Mandy Ford, Dean of Bristol, said:

“Cathedrals and Religious Communities have been associated with brewing and distilling for centuries. This gin reflects that heritage and celebrates the flavours of our herb garden, with a hint of mystery from the frankincense which is used as a symbol of prayer in worship and we are delighted to have worked with Espensen Spirit on this project.

Sam Espensen, co-founder of Espensen Spirit, said:

“This has been a dream project for me, as Cathedrals have always been part of my life. I lived in Wells, went to university in Canterbury, graduated from that Cathedral and now I live in Bristol. I have always been fascinated by, and felt at peace in them.

Sam was inspired by the heritage of the cathedral using traditional herbs and spices for the botanicals including chamomile flowers, angelica root, coriander seed and lemon peel.

Bristol Cathedral Launches own Gin Brand

“I also wanted to take some inspiration from life inside the Cathedral, so the gin also contains a tiny bit of Frankincense – tricky to use – but a beautiful botanical when balanced right, giving a wonderful piney taste,’ she added.

The Revd Rachel Barrett, Chair of the Friends of Bristol Cathedral, said:

“This is an exciting new venture for the Friends of Bristol Cathedral. We are thrilled that Sam at Espensen Spirit has produced a gin that celebrates the beauty of one of the oldest parts of the Cathedral.

The gin is 45% ABV, and available in 70cl and 5cl bottles via bristol-cathedral.co.uk/chapterhousegin.

Bristol is the fourth cathedral to create its own bespoke gin, Blackburn created Cathedra Gin in 2018, and Ripon created a limited edition St Wilfrid’s Cathedral Gin with only 100 bottles distilled for Christmas 2019 , while Portsmouth launched its own gin earlier this year, the Dean’s Tipple.