Who are you, and what’s your role?
Laurence Conisbee. I am the founder of Wharf Distillery. I run the distillery and am still actively involved in day to day production and product development whilst building the distillery team.
How long have you had the distillery open?
We started distilling in 2011 as an aside to our cider making business. Primarily set-up to produce apple brandy from our cider, we very quickly started to distil brandy and whisky. In 2017 we stopped cider production and rebranded to Wharf Distillery in order to focus on distilling and to extend the product range.
What inspired you / the company to start distilling?
There was never a specific plan to become a distillery, it was a natural evolution from cider making. However, I soon discovered a love of distilling and the creative opportunities it presented, particularly in a region that wasn’t rich in locally produced, small scale food and drink production.
How would describe the distillery’s ethos? / Are there any particular initiatives?
We are very much family run business embedded into a rural community. We always try and source local ingredients, and often partner with other local businesses. We try to be as environmentally aware, and as sustainable as possible. We are looking to achieve carbon negative status within 5 years.
What are your plans for 2022?
We have very recently moved into a new, and significantly larger location in the heart of Towcester. Our focus for 2022 is to get the site ready to host tours and tastings by the summer, and to become a real hub in the area as well as a unique (to Northamptonshire) visitor attraction. With the extra space, and a new still, we will be ramping up production of whisky, rum and brandy.