En-route to Africa in 1898, Charles Earl met a young Scotsman, John Peattie ; who, like himself, was looking forward to a new life and adventure.
Upon arriving in South Africa, Charles began a transport company in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, and later became the first mayor of Newcastle in 1901.
John worked as a contractor for various farms, until purchasing his own farm in the Cramond valley in 1909.
In 1910 Charles relocated to York, a small village near Cramond. This is where Charles and John rekindled their friendship. Both men had an appreciation for Gin and to suffice their needs, would over the years produce various Gins recipes in one or the others backyard. The friends often discussed expanding their backyard distilling but their commitment to their respective businesses prohibited this from becoming a reality.
Charles and John remained firm friends throughout their lives. Their dream in retirement was to eventually build their distillery in York and bring to life the Gin recipes that they had experimented with over the years. Sadly, they both died before their shared dream could be realised.
Charles Earl passed away in York in 1925 leaving behind sons that went on to become farmers in the area. In 1952 John Peattie too passed away, having become a successful farmer in the valley.
It was in the early 2000’s that these two families paths crossed again when Robert Earl and Bruce Peattie, the great grandsons of Charles and John respectively, began a lasting friendship.
In 2015, the long-time friends made the decision to expand their farming operations – They formed a farming partnership established on the Corndene Farm, which became a part of Illaire Farming.
A vibrant young distiller, Angelo Wilkie-Page, approached the friends. Angelo was eager to start a distillery on the Corndene citrus farm (John Peattie’s original farm). By 2016 this became a reality with the inception of Midlands Distillery.
Rob and Bruce, excited with the distillery on the farm and having read their great grandfathers old Gin recipes, partnered with Angelo and the Midlands Distillery to bring the recipes back to life in memory of their forefathers.
With passion and dedication over the next two years, the team worked to perfect the chosen recipe, which included hints of their very own, farmed citrus fruit.
This passion has led to the inevitable creation of Midlands Gin, a Classic Dry Gin with subtle notes of citrus that will live on as a tribute to the memory of two great friends and pioneers.
It is this unique Midlands Gin that has reconnected and solidified the 120-year-old friendship between two families, which we now want to share with you…
A business savvy entrepreneur, who is always thinking 10 steps ahead. His foresight & guidance is greatly appreciated.
An art-love, collector and Ginthusiast, to name but a few – Rob keeps a birds eye view on the business as a whole, and adds enormous doses of enthusiasm to the mix.
Our Head Distiller; And truthfully the heart and soul of the Distillery.
Administration & Sales
Has her finger on the pulse in all things admin & organisation related.
Not only does Khosi always bode a smile, but her diligence towards day to day distilling and bottling is second to none!