The Lighthouse trio started out with a still built from old apple-juicing equipment that made five litres at a time. They soon moved on to a still that made 25 litres. Eventually, Catherall designed his own copper still capable of making 200 litres of gin and had it made locally by 2K Design & Manufacturing Engineers in Masterton. These days, they have the capacity to make up to 50,000 bottles a year.
Their latest venture has been to make the new and stronger Hawthorne Edition gin. At 57 per cent proof, it packs a punch to the regular 37 per cent of other brands.
With that freedom to experiment and develop high-quality spirits came international accolades. Lighthouse Gin collected a bronze in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2010 and a silver each year since.
Lighthouse has had a compound growth of 45 per cent a year, each year, since 2009. “We take the business very seriously and we’re in it to make money, but we also want to have a bit of fun.