Installation of the Master into the Schiedam Guild of Genever Distillers

Installation of the Master into the Schiedam Guild of Genever Distillers

The Master in the first international virtual ceremony, received the honour of being installed in the Guild of Genever Distillers based in Schiedam and received a wooden medal of the Golden Glass. The Master participated via Zoom and another new liveryman, Amanda Garnham from BNIC was similarly honoured!

The Guild is an ancient order, set up by the local Jenever Gin Distillers all based in Schiedam , close to Rotterdam harbour. It has a magnificent museum and exists to promote its Gin ( which was originated before the English version ) around the world as Holland were trading their produce globally then. The history shows Jenever being used medicinally in the 1500’s and being taxed as a spirit from 1614. It was also produced in other Dutch cities and in Belgium.

First ever International Installation by Zoom for the Livery!

On July 24th, three new freemen were installed in a virtual ceremony spanning three countries. Martin Brown Jr. and Marshall Farrer were proposed by family member and Court Assistant Garvin Brown, and were dialing in from the US to connect with the Masters and Wardens Committee.

Henri Sizaret who is currently living in Portugal, was the third new freeman, speaking from Oporto, the home of Port wine.

Mr. Martin Brown Jr

Mr. Martin Brown Jr was admitted to the Freedom of the Company on Friday 24th July at a virtual ceremony.

Martin is a cousin of Court Assistant Garvin Brown IV and was educated at Yale. He is an Attorney with Adams & Reese LLP in Nashville, Tennessee and sits on the Board of the family company, Brown Forman (one of our Corporate Affiliates).

Mr. Marshall Farrer

Mr. Marshall Farrer was admitted to the Freedom of the Company on Friday 24th July at a virtual ceremony.

Marshall hails from Louisville, Kentucky and is a first cousin of Court Assistant Garvin Brown IV. He is a fifth generation distiller and part owner of Brown Forman, where he has worked for the past 20 years; he currently sits on the executive Board. He is shortly arriving in the UK to become European President of Brown Forman Europe. 

Monsieur Henri Sizaret

Monsieur Henri Sizaret was admitted to the Freedom of the Company on Friday 24th July at a virtual ceremony.

Henri, who is a French national, studied in Rome and Paris before completing his education at Strathclyde University. Ex Diageo and Symingtons, he is a marketing consultant to the wine and spirits industry, based in Oporto Portugal.

First virtual Installation Ceremony held for new liverymen

The first virtual installation ceremony for new liverymen to be accepted into the company took place last Friday, led by the Master with the Wardens and Clerk in attendance, and the nominees were accompanied by their Court sponsors.

The Oaths to the Livery were supervised by the Clerk, and each candidature in turn read out the investiture, swearing allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen, and obedience to the Master.

Amanda Garnham

Amanda Garnham, sponsored by IPM Martin Riley , has been working for the Bureau National Interproffesioniel de l’Armagnac since 2003, and is their Attache de Presse and Educator. She lives in LaGardere in the Armagnac region.

Sir Roger Gifford

Sir Roger Gifford , sponsored by Brian Morrison, was previously in International Banking, and was Lord Mayor of the City of London in 2012/3. He is already a member of three other livery companies, Musicians, Cord Wainers, and the International Bankers.

Sir Roger took both the Oath as a Freeman, and then as a Liverymen, being already a Freeman of the City of London.

Toby Whittaker

Toby Whittaker, sponsored by Christopher Hayman , is the Founder of  Whittaker’s Gin since 2016, which he runs with his wife on a Farm outside Harrogate. Toby was introduced via the Gin Guild.

Emergency Online Auction Raises £53,090 for The Drinks Trust

As a result of your extraordinary generosity we can report that Our
Emergency On-Line Auction closed last night and raised £53,090.

We are absolutely thrilled to share this news with you. This means that with our previous additional donation of £50,000, the Distillers’ Charity has donated over £100,000 to The Drinks Trust since March. This is an outstanding and remarkable achievement for our Livery.

Sincere thanks to all Liverymen and friends who contributed some rare, unique bottles and items which generated so much interest. The barrel of Caroni 1998 Rum alone, so kindly donated by John Barrett of Bristol Spirits Company, raised £21,500. Huge thanks too to Isabel Graham -Yooll, Sukhinder Singh, and everyone at Whisky.Auction. Without their professionalism and generosity our initiative would not have been possible. Thank You.

All proceeds will go to support The Drinks Trust ( helping those in our industry in need of support now and in the coming weeks and months ahead.

Here are some stark facts that show why our support is so badly needed …

• So far, The Drinks Trust has helped 1750 beneficiaries with a £250 grant.
• In the first 5 months of 2020, The Drinks Trust has awarded over £800,000 in financial and wellbeing grants.
• 31% of grant recipients had already been made redundant due to COVID19.
• 70% of successful grant applicants stated that they are the sole earner in their household.
• The average age of grant beneficiaries was 29.
• 19% of grant recipients had at least one dependent child.

Finally, the note below (being one of many received from grateful beneficiaries of The Drinks Trust) highlights the impact that a grant makes:

“I would just like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved in this grant! It’s going to help me out massively with bills and being able to eat for the next few months. Relieves some anxiety for sure. I really do appreciate it!”

Thank you again to Middle Warden Chris Porter and to other members of the Charity Committee.


Like all others in this current environment, A (London Scottish) Company has experienced a huge change as a result of the unprecedented crisis. However, the resilience and adaptability of our soldiers has seen continued Tuesday and Wednesday evening training taking place as usual, through remote channels, with great success.

A (London Scottish) Company is at a strength I have not seen in my 10 years or so of involvement with the serving Company, with approximately 50 soldiers and officers across 1 Platoon, 3 (Mortar) Platoon, and Company Headquarters regularly training and preparing in anticipation of whatever will be required of us. The recruiting efforts over the past 24 months are bearing fruit and the current times we find ourselves in provide many opportunities to Army Reservists looking at developing, training and supporting, in our ‘spare time’. 

We are also continuing with our all important ‘engage to recruit’ plan, speaking to all those out there who are interested or who have recently become interested in the Army Reserve as a potential way to develop new skills, train in a range of environments and deploy on operations. If you are aware of anyone within your network for whom the Army Reserve would be something that appeals, please feel free to put them in touch with me or A Company’s recruiting officer, Sgt Ferguson –

As you might have heard, a significant number of A (London Scottish) Company are presently being held on readiness to assist with the Government’s response to the current Covid-19 pandemic, wherever required and I will endeavour to provide further details as and when appropriate. I would also like to highlight that across A (London Scottish) Company and indeed across the wider London Regiment, we have a number of Reservists who are healthcare professionals and other frontline workers who are all supporting in this unprecedented fight against the global pandemic, to whom I thank for their continued efforts and resilience at this time.

Being a military affiliate of the Worshipful Company of Distillers is something we at A (London Scottish) Company hold in very high regard and the support you provide us is very much appreciated. I hope to be in a position to provide a more comprehensive update when I am able to.


Major Jamie Barklem 
Commanding Officer 

The Drinks Trust Launches Wellness Services

The Drinks Trust Increases Wellness Services to Tackle CV19 Needs and Beyond

With the support of industry donors and numerous fundraising efforts within its community, The Drinks Trust has recently completed a round of one-off financial grants to assist just under 2000 of those who face loss of earnings as a result of CV19. The Trust will continue to support people financially in the months ahead, however the emerging and likely long-term effects the current situation will have on the mental health and wellness of the community has led The Drinks Trust to launch significantly increased wellness services, that it hopes will begin to meet the needs of our colleagues struggling with challenges at this time.

The Drinks Trust Wellness Services will cover key areas of well-being and will deliver a range of services over an initial seven-month period until the end of the year, although the intention is to increase the availability of these services and the offering, to meet the evolving needs of the drinks industry workforce.

The new services include:

Guidance – Resident wellness and leadership coach, Kat Hounsell (Founding Director, Everyday People) will be delivering tips and tricks to care for your holistic health. Kat is a consultant and well-being specialist having previously worked within the drinks industry. With industry expertise and insight, she will apply her guidance to a community she has been part of for many years.

Additionally, new online and downloadable content and guidelines will be made available for community members to learn more about the ways in which to approach their wellbeing concerns.

Talking Therapies – The Drinks Trust will make an initial investment of £80,000 to provide online video therapy services, provided by Dr Julian, an online and app-based therapy service. The service’s purpose is to put accessible mental healthcare into the hands of everybody in the drinks industry. The Dr Julian services are commissioned by NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies to provide mental health support on the NHS. They also work with corporate companies and organisations, such as The Drinks Trust, to provide mental health support for their communities. 

Dr Julian has brought together a range of highly experienced therapists/psychologists, all with Master’s Degree level training or above, who offer psychological therapy, through on-line video sessions and instantaneous text, that you can have on your phone, tablet or computer whenever and wherever you want. The service provides a secure and caring environment where they listen and treat you as the individual that you are, which in turn allows you to focus fully on your health.

Sleep & Insomnia Treatment – Although originally conceived as a Drinks Trust service for those working late shift patterns and those struggling with work related stress, there is now an emerging need from the wider drinks industry as a result of work uncertainty and decreased physical energy expenditure. The Drinks Trust will be inviting 300 individuals to undertake a week-long sleep and insomnia assessment, with 150 then qualifying for a month-long treatment programme. This service is delivered through app-based technologies and assessment tools, together with a live consultancy from trained sleep and insomnia specialist. The service is delivered by Sleepstation, the leading UK provider of sleep and insomnia treatment to the NHS. 

Mindful Drinking Programme – In June, The Drinks Trust will launch its first mindful drinking initiative. Partnering with Club Soda, the Mindful Drinking Movement, who have helped thousands of people to change their approach to alcohol consumption, The Drinks Trust is ambitious to help its community to lead a healthy and productive career in the drinks industry. The mindful drinking course will be open to anyone working in or furloughed from the industry who wants to change their drinking by cutting down, stopping for a bit or quitting, for an initial period of three months from June 2020.

Helpline – The Drinks Trust helpline was set up in 2017 and remains a core service to the drinks industry. The Drinks Trust will be looking to help more people with increasing calls to our call handlers and where necessary, refer them to therapists for counselling. This will also enable more people to seek the vital mental health support they may otherwise not be able to access owing to the lack of availability on the NHS and the prohibitive cost of private care. 

CEO, Ross Carter said, “Thanks to industry donor businesses such as London Essence and Virgin Wines and to all of our Business Partners, we are delighted to be able to offer our community an increased range of support services at a difficult time. We are very grateful for their support and hope that this is just the beginning of a broader wellness services offering. We would ask any business in the industry who is able to donate to The Drinks Trust to consider doing so, as our services are needed now more than ever”.

Chairman, Michael Sanders said, “I’m delighted that we are able to offer the drinks industry community such vital support services. We have been planning this since mid-2019, so to be able to launch now is particularly important at this critical juncture for so many. We know demand will be acute and The Drinks Trust is here to help in every way that we can”.

Chancellor visits the distillery to see hand sanitiser production

Photo courtesy of Copper Rivet Distillery 

Kent-based Copper Rivet Distillery believes that demand for hand sanitisers will grow exponentially once lockdown has ended….

…and that their stunningly beautiful distillery beside the River Medway in Chatham will continue to produce high quality hand sanitiser alongside its premium spirits.

Since March, 60,000 50cl bottles of Russell’s Hand Sanitiser have been despatched.

“People might think this is a short-term need, but it isn’t” says co-founder Stephen Russell (pictured below with the Distillery’s range of products). “Just think of all of those re-opened shops and offices, or homes that will really need the reassurance of hand sanitisers; and once pubs and bars and restaurants are up and running, demand could explode again. There’s no reason we should not deliver gin and vodka and hand sanitiser on the same lorry.”

Stephen Russell from Copper Rivet Distillery (image courtesy of Copper Rivet Distillery)

Distilling spirits from grain to glass is very technical, so Copper Rivet Distillery’s production needs to be very science heavy. The technical team were, therefore, well placed to create a formula which is effective and meets the required standards, but is also good to the skin and hands with longer term use than a standard rub. It’s the same technical skill and care for quality which has one them plaudits in the spirits industry.

Until 31 March, Copper Rivet was a gin, vodka and whisky distillery. By the next morning, all of that had changed, and they had transformed themselves into a hand sanitising producer for the Emergency Services. Supplies were sent to the MET, Essex Police, Kent Police, British Transport Police forces and to local authorities, care homes and schools.
Copper Rivet makes its own alcohol, from locally grown wheat and barley and rye; it does this in a slow and careful way – so when it needed a greater supply to speed up its distillations, it formed partnerships with Shepherd Neame Brewery and  Carlsberg who stepped in to send them high strength beer to distil onwards to 96.4% alcohol.

“Hand sanitiser sounds easy to make and all the same. It isn’t. You can’t just apply high alcohols to hands and leave it at that” says Stephen Russell. “That won’t kill the virus, and it may well hurt your hands. You need to add elements which slow the alcohol’s evaporation and leaves the sanitiser on your hands for more than 30 seconds. Russell’s Hand Sanitiser uses vitamin E, plus jojoba and essential oils to make sure it’s good for hands.”

The Russell’s Hand Sanitiser Gel is now available to buy online.

So what of the future? “I think we will carry on making hand sanitiser for the general public,” says Stephen Russell; “but a very high class offering, perhaps using some of the botanicals we’re familiar with, but this time as aromatics. And I will go back to my normal job of being a management consultant in banking, chastened by the knowledge of the blood, sweat and tears that go into making something as life enhancing as hand sanitiser, or indeed our vodka, whisky and gin.”

On Tuesday 12th May the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, paid a visit to Chatham’s Copper Rivet Distillery.  

Above: Stephen Russell from Copper Rivet with Rishi Sunak (credit: HM Treasury/Simon Walker)

Copper Rivet Distillery, set up in 2016, has adapted and repurposed its production to support the fight against COVID 19.

After delivering his update on the furlough scheme to Parliament, he headed 29 miles south to learn how businesses such as Copper Rivet had responded during the current crisis and to hear their founders’ views on the way ahead.

Family members Stephen, Bob and Matthew Russell thanked the Chancellor for his support, as hospitality and tourism staff at the distillery had to be furloughed at the end of March; and production of their Dockyard Gin and Vela vodka was put on hold so as to develop over 100,000 bottles of Russell’s hand sanitiser – their own special recipe – for the Emergency services.

Above: Rishi Sunak from Copper Rivet (credit: HM Treasury/Simon Walker)

Stephen Russell comments: “Fellow Kent businesses like Shepherd Neame have helped us out, as have friends, family and ex-employees, who have returned in our hour of need.  We have always believed in producing something special, wherever possible made from local ingredients; so a future delivering a range of high quality botanically-infused hand sanitisers alongside our gins, our vodka and our Masthouse whisky will be a very exciting option.”


Dear Liveryman,

Further to the recent communication from the Master, I am now informing you of the fundraising initiative being undertaken by the Distillers’ Charity (no 1038763) for The Drinks Trust, formerly The Benevolent, which is experiencing an unprecedented volume of applications for help and assistance.


JUNE 7th – JUNE 16th 


  • Search your cellars, cupboards & storage places for those special bottles of spirits & liqueurs. Cases and casks are also welcome. Ask your friends in the industry to help. You don’t have to be a Livery member to give!
  • The Whisky.Auction warehouse can accept bottles up to May 26th but please act NOW! 


  • Send bottles clearly marked for the LIVERY EMERGENCY FUND with donated by (YOUR NAME) unless you wish anonymity to: (WA), Elixir House. Whitby Avenue, Park Royal. London. NW10 7SF. Please direct any queries you may have to or telephone 020 8838 9381


Once your donations arrive at the Whisky.Auction warehouse they will be checked, photographed and a description created on the Whisky.Auction website (charity section). Our Livery logo will indicate the location of all donations. You will be able to monitor how the Auction is progressing. All proceeds will go The Drinks Trust.

This has all been made possible thanks to the fantastic support, help and generosity of Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh and their splendid team at Whisky.Auction. We owe them a huge debt of thanks and gratitude for the advice, management and support of our charitable initiative.  

Our hope is that every Liveryman will be able to offer something to help. If you have any questions, or need any further information about this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at To keep up with the latest news on how the charity auction is progressing, please follow us on Twitter: @TWCDAuction 

Thank You for your support and stay well and safe.

Chris Porter

Middle Warden.