Thumbs-up from Harrods for Ormskirk’s ‘Spitfire’ gin as it secures £70,000 investment

Managing director Ian Hewitt launched the Ormskirk-based business and the Spitfire Heritage Gin brand in 2016 and now it has secured new funding from Liverpool’s MSIF. Tony McDonough reports

Spitfire Heritage Gin
Ian and Sarah Hewitt of Spitfire Heritage Gin with George Wright of MSIF


Liverpool city region gin producer Spitfire Heritage Distillers is to expand its range after securing a loan of £70,000 from Merseyside business loan and equity provider MSIF.

Managing director Ian Hewitt launched the Ormskirk-based business and the Spitfire Heritage Gin brand in 2016, looking to capitalise on the soaring popularity of gin, now cited as a favourite tipple by 29% of UK consumers.

Ian was also the co-founder and vice-chairman of the Spitfire Heritage Trust and was keen to create a bespoke and gin worthy of the iconic Spitfire name, with a 1930s retrospective tone.

Signature flavour

He enlisted the help of champion gin maker John Walters to help master a signature flavour that captured the essence of the Spitfire brand. A distinct botanical gin was created with notes of rosemary, blood orange and English rose.

Ian prides himself on not only the unique and robust taste of Spitfire Gin but its high quality that is created in one of the only single-estate distillers in the UK – and has won the approval of top peoples’ store Harrods.

His Spitfire Heritage Distillers co-director Sarah Hewitt approached the MSIF Finance Hub to acquire help for a Start-Up loan during the early growth of the business.

The hub’s George Wright was able to co-ordinate a proposition for investment and submit the application for funding, resulting in an initial backing of £25,000.

To keep up with the growing demand, the Finance Hub worked with Sue Chambers, MSIF investment manager, to obtain a further £70,000 loan to help with the development and protection of the Spitfire Heritage brand. 

Growing demand

Since the launch Sarah and Ian have seen growing demand for their botanical-crafted gin. As well as distribution across bars, restaurants and hotels within the UK, Spitfire Heritage also supplies to a number of select retailers including Juniper Club and Harrods who classed the artisanal gin as “one of Britain’s best”.

They now plan to launch merchandise and apparel in the near future alongside their latest addition to the spirit market with, Supermarine Vodka.

Following the successes of international air show events and the 100th Anniversary of The RAF, the hope is to target more aviation enthusiasts and, satisfy the increased interest of the Spitfire Heritage brand with expansion into the European market.

Ian said “Every small start-up gets to a point where it needs to expand and grow. MSIF have allowed us to not only broaden our business to a wider market but to draw in the help needed to protect our luxury brand.

“We have had an exciting year with some great opportunities and events. Providing Spitfire Gin as the choice of drink for the Queen’s Birthday at the Ambassador’s Residence in Paris, has to be a key highlight.”

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