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distilling dynasty: gin entrepreneurs james and miranda hayman

Capital Conversation slipped into the festive mood this week as Hayman’s of London owners James and Miranda Hayman joined Michael to mull over the gin industry.

Siblings James and Miranda are the fifth generation to oversee the 155-year-old distillery, which sells enough product to create 1.32 billion gin and tonics each year.

The family business is known for its commitment to tradition – right down to the use of copper pot stills. “I think we have to stay very much true to who we are,” says Miranda. “There’s a real consumer trend for provenance and authenticity.”

That spirit has seen the duo launch the Call Time on Fake Gin campaign, which urges industry vigilance against counterfeit gins that do not predominantly use juniper – the tipple’s defining ingredient.

“We want to ensure in ten years’ time that gin still has integrity, that you walk into a bar and there’s still a good selection of gins available,” adds James.

Describing London as ‘the home of gin’, the entrepreneurs tell Michael of their recent decision to open new premises in Balham. “It’s one of our greatest achievements… We’ve based it on the old gin houses of the 1800s so it’s very much like a home… It’s a place where we can be open and honest about how we make our gin.”

Hayman’s may stretch back 150 years, but the owners say there’s no time for its people to stand on the sidelines. “With a family business, sometimes people don’t feel they can tell you what they really feel… [So] when we interview people, we go, ‘You’re not joining a family business to be told what to do, we want you to be a part of it’.”

For a triple shot of Haymans, watch the full episode here.

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