• Our Distillery

  • Built on our Victorian Era Swmming Pool

Our Distillery

Built on our Victorian Era Swmming Pool

The Process

From our private spring, Sheildgreen, to our bespoke distillation school, the process behind 1881 Gin is one of expertise, history & craftsmanship.

Where 1881 Gin Distillery Began

The idea for The 1881 Gin Distillery came on a summer day, standing in front of the steps to our tennis pavilion on the front lawn. In the 1920s Peebles Hydro had more tennis courts than Wimbledon, and we hosted many a tournament at that time. Gin and tonic was a popular tipple, served on the lawn to the crowds that gathered to watch. Would it be possible to turn water to gin and create our own gin to honour the history of the hotel?

Peebles Hydro has never settled for received wisdom or conventional thinking. A gin distilled with local botanicals, and made with water drawn from a private spring? It’s unheard of – well, almost unheard of

We quickly discovered that the pavilion did not have enough space to house all of our gin distilling equipment. Undeterred, we decided to move production into the main hotel and so The 1881 Distillery was born – named after the date Peebles Hydropathic Hotel was first opened.

Our Distillation Process

Our 1881 Gin was born from the same water that started the story for Peebles Hydro and named after the year which our iconic hotel opened. The local Shieldgreen spring now supplies the gleaming copper stills of our very own distillery and our gin school. Many of the botanicals grown right here in our grounds and our very own tonic water, along with the gin, is trickled, nurtured and perfected by Peebles.

Did you know only our 1881 Gin can draw on the waters of Shieldgreen spring? Only our gin will taste this way. Perfect every time.

Our Gin Experiences

1881 Distillery 360° tour

Meet the Makers

Dean McDonoald - Head Distiller - 1881 Distillery - 1881 Gin

Dean McDonald

Meet our talented head distiller Dean McDonald. 

Having been through the extensive postgraduate Master’s in Brewing and Distilling at the International University for Brewing and Distilling, he certainly knows a thing or two about gin, and any form of alcohol for that matter.

Read all about Dean here

Lauren Appleyard

Meet Lauren Appleyard.

With a vast experience in hospitality, and especially the drinks sector, she has joined the distilling team as a trainee distillery, working with Dean to help create future products.

Read all about Lauren here