Whinberry picking for special Batch gin

17 July 2017

Growing Burnley based micro gin distillery, Batch Brew, are launching a ‘Big Batch Whinberry Picking Challenge’ for a special limited edition batch of their new whinberry gin.

Whinberries (a northern term for Bilberries) are just coming into season and there’s only a short window of a few weeks to pick them fresh for the special whinberry gin edition that Batch Brew are planning to be ready for around Christmas time.

On the moors and hillsides around Lancashire wild whinberries/bilberries are ready for picking – a tiny wild fruit similar to the blueberry but smaller – but a prince of the northern fruits.

Batch Brew is inviting you to be part of making a proud Lancashire gin made here in Burnley.  For every kilo of wild whinberries you take to Batch Brew they’ll give you a £5.00 voucher off the Limited Edition Bottle when it’s ready just before Christmas – a wonderful idea for a unique local Christmas gift.

But the real reward is being part of the big whinberry hunt and coming together as a family and as a community to find and pick the whinberries and to be part of the production of a truly local specialty product.

Phil Whitwell, Director at Batch Brew Ltd, said: “We are looking to collect around fifty kilos but if we get more we’ll make more, but the initial plan is to make around 2,000 bottles! We are really excited about getting local residents and communities involved across Burnley and Lancashire. We think it’s a wonderful idea to evoke childhood memories of wild fruit picking and to re-introduce the pleasures of getting out there and picking your own fruit to a new generation.

“With the school holidays about to start it’s a wonderful time to get out into our surrounding hills and join the ‘Big Whinberry Hunt’ and pick as many as you can for us.

”We do have some special tools which make it easier to pick them which we’ll be able to give out on request.

“We are so proud to make what we term ‘The Lancashire Gin’ here in our micro distillery in Burnley which is taking the gin industry by storm, and our new Whinberry Gin is taking complex flavours to a whole new level.  We could even create a local map of where to find them when our collectors drop off their pick and share the location they picked them.

“Pickers can also get a tour of the distillery and how we make the speciality gin when they drop off their berries – so they’ll be immersed in the manufacturing process.”

Adding: “We’ve just taken delivery of a 3,200 litre former Cognac Barrel from France in which we’ll age the limited edition gin, which will take in the cognac flavour and add a whole new dimension to the Limited Edition.

“Our Whinberry Gin which we recently launched has been hugely popular. This is normally made with dried whinberries, so we are really excited about making the limited edition with fresh locally grown and locally picked berries. It will be a true new flavour for the gin connoisseur senses.”

“We believe ourselves to be a true a definition of a family-run distillery as there is. Our premium gin is lovingly crafted. We don’t ask anyone else to produce our drinks and we source everything, from the bottles, to the botanicals and everything inbetween – and to use local people to source the local berries is truly in keeping with our family ethos – our Lancashire family – and our first punnet has been dropped off by local Burnley resident Tim Allen – thanks Tim! We produce and bottle by hand to ensure quality and individuality, which the team are immensely proud of. ”

Deliver your berries to Batch Brew, Unit 10, Habergham Mill, Coal Clough Lane, BURNLEY, BB11 5BS and share your picking pictures and locations on social media @BatchBrew using the hashtag #BATCHWHINBERRYPICKERS

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