Berliner Brandsifter was established by Vincent Honrodt, who was inspired to start producing Spirits after tasting his grandfather’s family recipe for Kornbrand (a uniquely German Spirit). Today, the company has a Berlin Dry Gin, a Vodka, and a Kornbrand, which are all produced at theSchilkin Distillery in Berlin.
Berlin Dry Gin was launched in 2013, after a successful crowdfunding campaign which not only exceeded its target, but also demonstrated the desire for a locally made Gin. It contains five botanicals – juniper, cucumber, elderflower, woodruff and malva – which are sourced locally from a farm in Berlin.
The Gin is made using a process called fractional distillation, whereby each botanical element is distilled separately in neutral grain Spirit, before being blended together and watered down. This process allows for much more control over the seasonal variants of the botanicals, and according to Honrodt, gives a more intense flavor profile to the Gin.
Its unusual botanical mix gives this Gin a unique flavor; juniper is present, but not overpowering. Fruity flavors dominate, and there’s a subtle sweetness which those who are new to Gin might appreciate.
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The Schilkin family’s farm was seized by the Government during the communist era, and wasn’t returned to them until 1989, when they immediately began production once more.
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The Schilkin Distillery has a rich and complex history stretching back to the start of the 20th century,when the Russian-born Schilkin family was given the approval of the Russian Courts for the Vodkas it was producing. During the Russian revolution, the family was forced to flee, and eventually settled in Germany.
Since then, the business has survived the Second World War, has been nationalized and then re-privatised, and began exporting to the United States. Today, it’s run by fourth-generation leader Patrick Mier.
The Schilkin Distillery produces many of its own products (including the peppermint Liqueur it is famed for), but also distils Spirits for other brands, including Berliner Brandsifter’s Berlin Dry Gin.
The Schilkin Distillery places an emphasis on producing small, artisanal products, and as such, many of its Spirits and Liqueurs are still hand bottled and labeled, with every single bottle being inspected by eye before heading out of the door.