Celebrating their family's 150th anniversary as gin distillers, Christopher Hayman and his son James tell Tom Bruce-Gardyne why heritage and tradition still count
As a brand Hayman's has only been on the market since 2004, but as gin distillers, celebrating their 150th anniversary this year, the family boasts an unbroken line for five generations - Christopher
being the fourth.
He joined James Burrough Ltd straight from university in 1969 when Beefeater was the world's most exported gin with US sales of over a million cases a year.
Though Smirnoff was growing fast, and a few hipsters were starting to emulate James Bond with his
Vodka Martinis, gin was the pre-eminent white spirit.
According to Hayman
, the classic American business lunch kicked off with two Beefeater Martinis, and when times were tough, the number went up to three.
"I was very sad about it because I felt my time had come," says Hayman, the only family member of his generation still on the board.
From the sale he
acquired the Fine Alcohols division of James Burrough plc
, and turned part of it into Hayman Distillers.
Having lost control once, he
is not going to let it happen again.