In Conversation With… Bullards Spirits
Please can you give a brief history of Bullards Spirits.
Bullards is a name that’s synonymous with the history of Norwich. Well known for supplying beers, wine and spirits to pubs across East Anglia, the history of Bullards spans six generations over 185 years and continues today with our award-winning, handcrafted gin.
Made in small batches to ensure the highest quality spirit, our gin is made using a traditional copper pot still with quality and innovation in each drop. Our collection hosts four signature gins in addition to special limited-edition flavours, with a little something to suit everyone. From sweet and fruity to herbaceous and salty, our collection delivers classic gins with a contemporary twist. Available in handy eco-refill pouches, too!
We love your eco-refill scheme! What was the main motivation behind this?
We introduced our Eco-Refill scheme back in 2020 to help reduce our carbon footprint, while also allowing our customers to keep our beautiful jewel-toned glass bottles in use. Glass bottles take up a lot of energy to produce, transport and deliver. Inspired by the many ways our customers were upcycling our bottles into useful objects, we agreed that our bottles had so much life left in them once the gin was gone. So why not refill them to keep those G&T’s coming? Switching to our Eco-Refill Pouches (which weigh significantly less than our bottles!) means that less CO2 is emitted during the production, transportation, and delivery of our gin - rather than sending an additional courier, our letterbox-friendly pouches are delivered by your Royal Mail postperson on their regular route, so no more CO2 is produced on the journey.
Our refill pouches are easy to use. Simply pour the gin from the Eco-Refill Pouch into your Bullards Bottle for Life and post the empty pouch back to us to be recycled responsibly. No envelope or stamp is required, so it really couldn’t be easier. Due to the confusion with different local authorities, a large portion of plastic waste is not actually recycled here in the UK. So, to help close the loop on waste, we work with TerraCycle and their Zero Waste Box™ solution to make sure that our pouches are recycled responsibly. That’s why we ask you to post them back to us! To ensure that no plastic ends up in our oceans or landfill, TerraCycle will transform our pouches into something new, such as outdoor furniture, playground equipment, athletic fields and more.
What were you using before Flexi-Hex and why did you make the switch?
Before our switch to Flexi-Hex, we were using plastic air sacs. We spent a lot of time researching sustainable alternatives but, at the time, there was no substitute out there that could support the weight and shape of our bottles and glassware. As a very small team, we also needed something that wasn’t time-consuming to assemble. Flexi-Hex was just what we were looking for. 100% plastic-free, kerbside recyclable, biodegradable, compostable, easy-to-use and supports our products? We would be silly not to make the switch! We send hundreds of products out to customers and suppliers each week, so it was vital that we found a sustainable alternative to plastic as soon as possible.
How would you describe Flexi-Hex in 3 words!
Quality, reliable, accessible.
What else are you doing to reduce your impact on the environment, both as a company and on a personal level?
In addition to our Eco-Refill scheme and switch to Flexi-Hex, we’ve made moves toward more sustainable wrapping options instore by switching to biodegradable tissue paper and stickers. Using soy-based inks and acid-free paper, our instore packaging is 100% compostable, recyclable, and made from recycled materials. We only ever use reusable or recyclable straws in our stores, and all our sampling cups are 100% recyclable and compostable too. We’re always looking into ways to improve our sustainability and welcome suggestion from our customers too!
On a personal level, we all do our best to reduce the impact we have on our environment as much as possible through small, everyday changes. Whether that be opting for lift shares or taking the bike, going plant-based, avoiding single-use items, making our gardens more animal-friendly or shopping for local produce – we all enjoy playing our part in different ways.
Any summer cocktail recommendations?
We’ve got so many delicious cocktails to choose from, but we’d have to say that our Pineapple Collins is THE one to try this summer! This juicy twist on a traditional Tom Collins is just what you need on a sunny afternoon, sat in the warm rays, pretending you’re on a tropical island…
50ml Bullards Pineapple, Ginger & Lime Gin
25ml Pineapple Syrup (optional if you want more sweetness)
25ml Lime Juice
50-100ml Double Dutch Soda Water
Pineapple Slices & Lime Wedge
Fill a tall glass with ice to chill. Add the pineapple slices, gin, and pineapple syrup to a cocktail shaker and muddle together. Add ice, shake well until chilled and pour into an ice-filled glass. Top with Soda Water, garnish with a wedge of lime and a fresh slice of pineapple. Enjoy!
Finally, Any exciting initiatives in the pipeline?
It’s a really exciting time for us at the moment – we’ve just opened our new flagship store in Covent Garden, our tasty new Pineapple, Ginger & Lime Gin has received a fantastic response from our lovely customers, and, as we continue to grow, we’re looking forward to welcoming new Brand Ambassadors to the Bullards Family.
When it comes to new products, all we can say for now is keep an eye on our socials @bullardsgin for announcements and exciting new releases..