Trelowth, St Austell, Cornwall PL26 7DT Email Us 01726 72128
Trelowth, St Austell, Cornwall PL26 7DT
Email Us 01726 72128

01726 72128

Trelowth, St Austell, Cornwall PL26 7DT

Booking & Availability

Action Nan’s days out for grown ups – Colwith Farm Distillery

The whole of Cornwall seems to have gone gin mad. At the last count there were 11 craft distilleries in Cornwall making gin from a vast range of botanicals. Most pubs and restaurants are making a big shout out about the range of gins available. People just can’t seem to get enough of it, with gin festivals, gin tours and gin making lessons all on offer in the county.


I visited the newly-opened Colwith Farm Distillery between Fowey and Lostwithiel. The farm is run by Mike and his sons, Steve and Chris. Their family’s been farming here for five generations; they starting growing potatoes for the Second World War effort and haven’t looked back since.

The bulk of the potatoes go to make crisps. However, the manufacturers are fussy and only want perfect potatoes, which means there are always some which don’t make the grade. So to use up these not-quite-perfect spuds, they came up with the idea of producing their own alcohol (ethanol) from potatoes, as the base for their gin, and they’re the only Cornish distillery to do this.

The distillery barn has a visitor centre where you assemble for the guided tour. This follows the whole process from peeling and crushing the potatoes (Wilma or King Edwards are the best varieties, and peelings and washing water are spread back on the fields) on to the fermenter and distiller, then on to rectifying and finally bottling. The water required for this process comes from underground water on the farm, so it only needs renewable energy now to make it a closed loop self-reliant system.

I discovered that this process creates vodka. Vodka is just gin without the juniper, I didn’t know that! Adding the botanicals seems to be the most crucial and important part of the process. Everyone has their own secret recipe, which is closely guarded. The botanicals come from all over the world and are used dried for consistency.

At the moment Colwith produces three drinks: Stafford’s Gin, Aval Dor Vodka, and Fowey River Gin, which uses surplus cider from a local farm to produce it. Another product in the pipeline is gin made with a blueberry surplus from another local farm. I was very impressed to see the efforts being made to work with other farmers to eliminate waste.

The tour was followed by a tasting session, which was very generous, allowing us to try mixtures of gins and tonics. They also offer a gin masterclass where they’ll help you to make a gin of your own!

The tour and tasting costs £15 per person. It took just over an hour and I can heartily recommend it. At the moment they do tours on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Find out more about tours and tasting sessions at Colwith Farm Distillery >

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In line with the Government’s announcement on 22nd February of their proposed roadmap out of lockdown, we are hoping to be able to reopen our doors to guests in April (at the earliest 12th April).

We will be in touch with any guests affected by the roadmap timetable soon to discuss your options which will include moving your stay to a future date or a refund. We would respectfully ask that you bear with us and wait for us to get in touch with you, as we are awaiting further more detailed guidance from the tourism industry professional bodies as to what the announcements exactly mean for self-catering holidays.

Please note our booking system is now open for stays into 2022. 

  • Our availability grid is live and we are now fully booked for the 2021 summer school holidays 
  • We do not have a cancellation list but any lastminute availability due to cancellations will be posted on our facebook page 

Our Covid cancellation policy is detailed on our Social Distancing and Covid 19 Safety page