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When Karl Mason started a Facebook page called Gin & Tonic Friday in 2012, he probably didn’t think it would lead to him opening a gin distillery with his wife, Catherine, just a couple of years later. But it did. The short posts on the social media platform regarding the best gins on the market, features and news captured the interest of 10,000 followers, and it was this large audience that gave the couple the confidence to build upon their shared knowledge of the category and leave their jobs to start Masons Yorkshire Gin. Yorkshire is a key part of the brands identity, and the original location of the project was in Bedale, a market town in North Yorkshire. After running into difficulties with costs, legalities and logistics, the Masons (Karl and Catherine, not the fraternal organisations) began working with the English Spirit Company. With the help of this collaboration and after several months, the husband and wife team settled on a final recipe and botanical line they were happy with, and Masons Yorkshire Dry Gin was born. It was first released on World Gin Day, 15th June 2013, and it only took a week for 90% of first 120 bottles to be sold. Buoyed by such success, it was just a year before Yorkshire could officially claim its first operational distillery, when Masons Gin opened its doors in June 2014. Relying on the charming capabilities of copper alembic stills ‘Steve’ & ‘Leftie’, which distill Mason Gin in 200 litre batches, the process also entailed adding Harrogate spring water to cut the spirit down to the required bottling strength. The combination of this traditional slow distillation method, pure Yorkshire water and just the right balance of botanical elements has led to the creation a quite delicious gin that still currently holds the distinction of being the first distilled in Yorkshire.

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