It all began in North Yorkshire’s small market town of Bedale. Having tried lots of other gins whilst in pursuit of a gin that tasted different and wasn’t just a different label, founders Karl and Cathy Mason decided to take matters into their own hands.
Karl and Cathy always had an unwavering belief that, when it came to gin, doing things the right way without compromise would lead to the very best outcome. It was a brave new world for gin at the time. But with a simple mission to create the very finest gins, Yorkshire’s first gin distillery burst to life. And thus, on World Gin Day in 2013, Masons Yorkshire Gin was born.
Creating a distillery right on the doorstep; bringing craft and workmanship to the area and employing people locally, was of the utmost importance. Weekends suddenly became workdays for Karl and Cathy, where they would sell Masons Gin at local markets and start bedding in the Masons name.
What followed next was an extraordinary leap forward. People got in touch with fantastic comments and feedback and they asked for Masons by name. Recognition in the form of national and international awards started flooding in. Yorkshire’s best bars, pubs and restaurants started selling Masons and recommending it with pride.
When Masons’ popularity soared, Karl and Cathy saw an opportunity to introduce more gins to the range. This included the iconic Tea Edition, featuring Yorkshire Tea, as well as Lavender Edition and Peppered Pear Edition. With the new additions winning awards at the highest level world-wide, Masons quickly became Yorkshire’s most awarded gin brand.
Fire destroys distillery
The team started to grow and in September 2017, Masons moved into a new distillery in Aiskew on the edge of Bedale. On 2nd April 2019, everything changed for Masons when a fire broke out.
Fortunately, no-one was hurt, but the distillery was completely destroyed. After leading the revival of gin in Yorkshire and years of successful growth, within just a few hours, everything went up in smoke.
It was enough to kill off any business instantly. However, something remarkable happened.
Yorkshire’s seemingly unquenchable thirst for their favourite gin saw people flocking from far and wide to help. Staff, community, industry colleagues and the fire services rallied round to keep Masons going.
Thanks to this support, they were able to open a brand new, purpose-built distillery in March 2020. This time featuring ‘Tony’ the still, a cutting-edge gin laboratory, a visitor facility and Masons Gin Bar. This marked new beginnings and an exciting chapter of the Masons story.