FRIARY BLOG

2017..........

March 08, 2017

Wow, what a start to 2017. 

While everyone else conquered detox January we merrily continued in the Christmas Spirit through to February. We've reviewed our range and here's what delicious treats we have for you to enjoy throughout 2017. Coming soon to the website..........

Perfect gift ranges for all occasions. 

Our award winning new liqueur range that includes a Toffee Liqueur and my personal favourite for those warmer days that are approaching, our Cloudy Lemon Liqueur.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE MAKERS OF DOWNTON ABBEY CALL YOU AND START ASKING ABOUT OUR LIQUEURS?

You keep cool – but the heart starts beating and the hairs start rising.

 

What happens when they ask – could you supply your liqueurs for the last ever day of filming at Highclere Castle in specially designed Downton bottles?
 
You try to keep cool while attempting to communicate this extraordinary development through a series of dramatic eyebrows lifts, hand gesticulations and silent mouthing of ‘Downton’ to others in the office.
 
Yes blog readers – Downton came calling at Friary Liqueurs HQ seeking gifts for their entire cast and crew on the last day of filming at the Grantham’s family home in Yorkshire/actually Hampshire.
 
Given it’s not unheard for all three of us at Friary to be snuggled in front of the television on a Sunday night with a glass of Abbots Choice we were nudging hysterical once the phone went down.
 

What followed was a celebratory Charleston around the office and excitable quoting of our favorite Maggie Smith lines in our poshest West Country voices – among them “what is a weekend?”.
 
Once we’d geeked-out a bit we calmed down. Then realised Dame Maggie Smith herself could be quaffing our sloe liqueur and we geaked-out some more.
 
Once the excitement passed and we got on with designing them their own label and mixing up 70 bottles of our sloe gin we all felt an enormous sense of pride.
 
A few years ago we would never have imagined such a request – but as we’ve grown as a business, won awards and reached more and more liqueur lovers, we’ve grown in confidence.
 
Knowing our lovingly crafted drink was in demand on the set at the last day of filming on such a massive television show was, and is, a real buzz.
 
And while we gave them the drinks, they didn’t divulge any story lines – roll on Christmas Day!

Great Taste 2015

August 07, 2015

ARE VERY PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT WE HAVE JUST WON GOLD (AGAIN!) AT THIS YEARS GREAT TASTE AWARDS!

Cherry Brandy - Gold Star 2015

WE’VE WON 11 GREAT TASTE GOLD STARS OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS ... IT'S A GREAT FEELING, BUT BOY DO YOU WORK FOR IT

Any food or drink producer will tell you what a wonderful feeling it is to win a Great Taste Award - people with refined palettes and sharp noses, from top chefs to brutal food critics, blind tasting your product and telling you 'I love it!'. What's not to like?

However, some may be less inclined to tell you how nerve wracking the whole experience is.

It's been dubbed the food Oscars - though happily there are no weepy acceptance speeches to sit through. Nonetheless your beloved product you've spent months designing and refining is shipped off to be blind judged by industry leaders who don't care about your hurt feelings and keep a vice like grip on those stars. Success is far from guaranteed.

In fact, generally less than a third walk away winners - and there were 10,000 products submitted this year. It's a crowded space to shine through. And not only is walking away starless a possibility, but if your product really displeases the panel you can add a pile of withering tasting notes to your disappointment. Ouch.

Come to think of it - it's less Oscars, more Hunger Games. Happily the odds were firmly in Friary's favour for 2015 and we nailed the gold - not only that but of those 10,000 products, only 31% came away with a star this year, including our delicious cherry brandy. Cue satisfied air punches at Friary HQ, a few unfunny Hunger Games references and a round of Blood and Sands (delish cherry cocktail) for the office!

As we're allowing ourselves a quick 'hip-hip hooray!' before we crack on with the day job, we've pulled together our 'Great Taste Greatest Hits' below.

Try them - they really are great!

Past Winners

2014 Winners

Apricot Brandy Liqueur - 1 Star
Strawberry Velvet Vodka - 3 Star

2013 Winners

Apple Liqueur - 1 star
Christmas Wine - 1 Star

2011 winners

Blackcurrant Liqueur -1 Star
Spiced Mead - 2 Stars
Abbot's Choice - 1 Star

New beginnings of 2015

July 26, 2015

OUR YEAR SO FAR...

As the dust of Christmas settled and after taking a deep breath from the Bath Christmas Market. We sat, drank and ate as much Christmas food as possible. As a family we love to work together, but we like to hang out more. After a few Christmas Liqueur and G&T's, we started talking of 2015.

January came and the fun continued. Hannah started to create some interesting and new blends, Tori started getting out there, talking to everyone and I began designing artwork. February came and it was decision time.

THE GIN COLLECTION

I'm not sure if it was the gin talking from Christmas, but we created and bottled our new products for 2015. THE GIN COLLECTION! Our friends and family had all agreed that Ginger, Sloe, Blackcurrant and Strawberry Gin... we're definitely the winners! We started with a complete overhaul of our brand and identity by introducing our new gins.



We said hello to the new gin range, a new large half litre bottle and goodbye to Blackcherry Liqueur and Strawberry Brandy Liqueur!

#50FoodStars

One of the most exciting moments of 2015 so far was a trip to Downing Street to collect our '50 Food Stars' award in February! This is a new annual Government initiative recognising 50 of the best, innovative small UK food and drink producers. We got to meet some great people and were in good West Country company with the Bath Soft Cheese Company and Pilton Cider also awarded. And we got to hear some inspiring talks by Paul Lindley of Ella’s Kitchen, Justin King of Sainsbury's and Richard Clothier from Wyke Farms cheese - an amazing day and great to get such recognition for all our hard work. We did notice they didn't serve any liqueurs in the No10 State room - we're onto it!

AUTUMN/WINTER 2015

Brings the launch of a new look Christmas Collection. We've done away with the 375 ml half bottle to bring you more. We've introduced a new bottle for the Christmas Collection, a half litre bottle and added an extra slice of class to the look. Featuring bold and festive colours on a champagne label material with fantastic gold foiled illustrations. Don't worry, it's still the same amazing classic Christmas taste that you know and love.

THE FRIARY TEAM