The Cooper King Distillery Story

The Cooper King Distillery Story

A household name on the English Whisky map (and the Yorkshire Gin Map)

‘The English Whisky Map continues to be shared far and wide and has secured us fantastic press coverage, including in the Financial Times. Similarly, The Yorkshire Gin Map, shared extensively on social media, was created to highlight Yorkshire’s gin producers and showcase the region’s many tremendous brands. The Founders’ Club continues to draw members and a strong following from the international whisky scene.’

Reflecting on the journey

Although setting up a distillery might seem pretty far from their old day jobs in an architecture firm and a lab, as Chris points out, their skills have come in handy: ‘we are still a scientist and an architect. Architecture is problem-solving and multitasking and understanding what your client wants, which in this case is the customer.’

We are still a scientist and an architect. Architecture is problem-solving and multitasking and understanding what your client wants, which in this case is the customer.

Abbie still brings a scientist’s precision to the distilling process: ‘I’m inherently critical and all about the details, whereas Chris is more creative and has the big, grand ideas. But together that really works, because we’re bringing different things to the business.’

Everyone thought we were mad but we could see a gap in the market for English whisky.

And they both see the way the challenges have strengthened them and their resolve to succeed: ‘everyone thought we were mad but we could see a gap in the market for English whisky. Working as a couple has had its challenges: it’s definitely had ups and downs. But we spent two years travelling and living in the back of a car in Australia. Once you’ve got through that, working together is an absolute dream.’