Discover the History of Gin on the Beefeater Distillery Tour

by | Apr 12, 2015

Beefeater Gin Distillery & Museum, Lambeth, London

Beefeater produce over 30 million bottles of gin every year and export to 127 countries. Few Londoners realise that every single drop is distilled down a quiet lane in Stockwell, just south of the river.

Discover the history of gin on the Beefeater Gin Distillery tour
Take a stroll down Gin Lane at the Beefeater Distillery and Gin Museum.

Steeped in history, a few hours soaking up the Beefeater brand and its story is a relaxing way to spend the afternoon and enjoy a tipple.

Perfect for a rainy day in London town. The Foodie Travel Guide

Take a Tour of the Beefeater Gin Distillery

Your tour will be in two parts – a self-guided tour through the Beefeater Gin Museum followed by a guided tour which takes you through the process of how the gin is made. Happily, it finishes in the bar where the guide pours everyone a generous G&T.

Discover the History of Gin in London

The museum starts off in 17th century London when William of Orange and James II’s daughter Mary, became co-rulers of England, Scotland and Ireland. It’s really thanks to them that gin became such a popular drink in the UK because they outlawed imported French brandy.

Welcome sign at start of the Beefeater Gin Tour
The Beefeater gin tour is self-guided
Copper still Beefeater Gin Museum
A copper still in the gin museum

Learn How Gin is Made

It’s thanks to a pharmacist called James Borrough, that Beefeater Gin was founded. The gin is still made today using his original recipe. Smell the botanicals used to flavour the gin, juniper being the most important. It’s sourced from the steep hills of Italy, Macedonia and Serbia. Through a large rooflight, you can look up to see the different stills used to make the four varieties they produce.

Go Gin Shopping

Buy bottles of London Garden Gin which was inspired by the Chelsea Physic Garden where James Borrough trained as a pharmacist or purchase Beefeater-branded accessories. Unlike the other gentleman distillers who used their family names or distillery location, James Borrough decided to name his gin after the Beefeaters at the Tower of London. They earned this nickname because of the large portion of beef they received.

James Burrough Founder Beefeater Gin
James Burrough Founder Beefeater Gin
Beefeater Gin Vintage Poster
Admire the collection of vintage posters
  • Oval tube station is the closest (5 mins) but if you fancy a slightly longer walk to Kennington tube station (10 mins), take the route through the beautiful Georgian Cleaver Square. You’ll often see people playing ‘boules’ there and you can stop off in the pub for a drink
  • Visit Borough Market, London’s famous food market which is just a few stops away on the tube
  • Drinker’s Tip – A gin and tonic should be made with lots of ice. To make perfectly crisp ice cubes, boil the water twice before freezing

Dog Policy Mr Hendricks says, “Please check with the Beefeater Gin Distillery”.

How to Find the Beefeater Gin Distillery

Beefeater Gin Distillery and Museum, 20 Montford Pl, Lambeth, London SE11 5DE

The Beefeater Gin Distillery


Beefeater Gin Distillery Tour

  • Buy a London Pass which includes entry to over 80 top London attractions and activities
  • Includes the Beefeater gin distillery tour
  • Download the pass and beat the queues
  • Highlights include priority entry to glorious Westminster Abbey, a tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and a visit to Kensington Palace

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