6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Cheshire Life today click here

Meet the former microbiology student behind Manchester Gin

PUBLISHED: 00:00 06 October 2016 | UPDATED: 14:47 07 June 2017

The gin brand that started as a hobby

The gin brand that started as a hobby

Archant

How Aaron Darke has gone from brewing ‘bootleg’ booze in Northern Moor to setting up a bona fide high-end drinks brand with the quirky name Zymurgorium.

While many impoverished students are forced by necessity to brew their own alcoholic concoctions, few go on to turn them into a career - Aaron Darke the man behind The Manchester Gin brand is an exception.

The creator of the Zymurgorium drinks brand was at university studying microbiology and zoology six years ago brewing drink for his friends and wondering what to do for a career.

‘We were technically bootleggers,’ laughs Aaron, who decided to combine his love for all things botanical and scientific and go legit.

‘I fell in love with the distilling aspect and decided I wanted to turn it into a career, so I phoned up HMRC and asked them what I needed to do to make it legitimate, then I started the business off in my mother’s shed in Northern Moor.

Aaron, right,
with brother CallumAaron, right, with brother Callum

Never having had any experience of working for a brewery his journey in the business was quite convoluted but he found backing through a scheme called Test Town in which young entrepreneurs from across the UK were invited to submit their business ideas. Six local heats took place around the UK over the course of the summer, culminating in a Grand Final in October 2014.

‘It was difficult to find suppliers and it was hard at first. I really struggled until I entered a competition called Test Town back in 2014. People had to set up little pop up shops and I won. I was really lucky as the winners got a £10,000 grant and that was really where things started off for me.’

Aaron’s use of foraged ingredients such as damsons, sloes, elderflower and woodruff were another aspect that made his products different.

‘I think what helped is that people were able to taste the difference. The gin is rather unique, not the same old same old and the fact you can flavour it with different botanicals allows you to create different varieties,’ he explains.

As well as Manchester Gin and Manchester Gin liqueurs, the brand also embraces everything from craft beers and cider to mead. They sell special edition brews like honey cider, marmalade mead English hedge rose gin liqueur and toffee vodka.

His products can now be found online and at Bottle in Stockport and Heaton Moor, Hammond, Knutsford, Cheshire Smokehouse, Epicerie Ludos, Chorlton, and restaurants like Mish Mash in Chorlton and the Church Green at Lymm.

‘I am inspired by nature and my love of culture, variation and science,’ says Aaron.

‘The Zymurgorium name comes from an amalgamation of the word zymurgy and also emporium. Zymurgy is the study of scientific brewing and an emporium is a shop that sells various items and trinkets.

‘The Zymurgorium is a source of adventure and diversity; from fruit and vegetable beers to old and new techniques in the sacred art of distillation, to ancient lost ciders and honey wines and an almost endless supply of brewing and distilling styles. ‘

Like many of the newer breeds of alcohol manufacturers, Aaron is something of a maverick, waging a battle against the ‘overwhelming blandness’ and sameness of established brews.

‘Rebelling against the status quo, bringing our true quality and the flavour from our ingredients is what drove me to start to experimenting all those years ago,’ he says. ‘And it is what keeps us ahead now in innovation and just plain awesomeness!’

Visit zymurgorium.com for further details.

Is gin becoming Cheshire’s favourite drink?

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cheshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cheshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cheshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

The heritage of Cheshire dairy farming is important to Bostock farmer Adrian Smith,but so is its future, writes Mairead Mahon.

Read more
Friday, August 11, 2017

There’s golf, there’s spa pampering or there’s just good old-fashioned relaxation and indulgence at The Mere, writes Louise Allen-Taylor

Read more
Cheshire Restaurants Knutsford
Monday, August 7, 2017

Get yourself an August treat with the Gin Summer Cup at Yellow Broom Restaurant

Read more
Monday, August 7, 2017

Fork out for less when you dine in August at Yellow Broom Restaurant

Read more
Friday, August 4, 2017

A Cheshire Life ladies’ lunch celebrated all things homegrown at Chester Racecourse’s Restaurant 1539, writes rebekka o’grady.

Read more
Chester Cheshire Life Luncheon
Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Come down to The Coast in Tarporley and grab yourself a midweek bargain between Tuesday and Thursday!

Read more
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Nestled in the heart of the Cheshire countryside between Congleton and Holmes Chapel, you’ll find one of Cheshire’s favourite gastro country inns, the Swettenham Arms, dating back to the 16th century.

Read more
Monday, July 24, 2017

Allium Restaurant and Bar are hosting their next Sunday Supper Club on the 20th August.

Read more
Friday, July 21, 2017

Want your meal in a room with a view? Check out the Black Seal at Trearddur Bay, writes Louise Allen-Taylor

Read more
North Wales Anglesey
Thursday, July 20, 2017

A modern casual Restaurant and Bar with Rooms by Great British Menu Northwest representative and acclaimed chef Mark Ellis

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Cheshire Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Cheshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search