Chapterhouse Gin

Chapterhouse Gin

Bristol Cathedral is excited to collaborate with Bristol spirits producer Espensen Spirit to launch this limited edition gin.

Chapterhouse Gin was inspired by herbs and spices grown and used by monks like those who lived, worked, and worshipped in the Augustinian abbey which later became the Cathedral.


The name Chapterhouse comes from the Cathedral’s Chapter House, the room in which a chapter of the rule of the community was read each morning. The reading of the chapter became synonymous with both the space and the people, and the governing body of cathedrals today is still known as the Chapter. You can find Chapter Houses in nearly every cathedral in the country.

This exceptional gin is made in a copper pot still, then compounded with botanicals including chamomile, coriander seed, angelica, lemon peel and frankincense. A beautiful pale yellow in colour, the gin is 45% ABV, and available in 70cl and 5cl bottles via

The production of this gin has been co-funded with the Friends of Bristol Cathedral. The Friends exist to fund projects which beautify the Cathedral, care for its fabric, and enrich its worship.

The Very Revd Dr Mandy Ford, Dean of Bristol, said:

Cathedrals and Religious Communities have been associated with brewing and distilling for centuries. This gin reflects that heritage and celebrates the flavours of our herb garden, with a hint of mystery from the frankincense which is used as a symbol of prayer in worship. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Sam at Espensen Spirit on this project.

The Revd Rachel Barrett, Chair of the Friends of Bristol Cathedral, said:

Chapterhouse Gin is an exciting new venture for the Friends of Bristol Cathedral. We are thrilled that Sam at Espensen Spirit has produced a gin that celebrates the beauty of one of the oldest parts of the Cathedral.

Sam Espensen. co-founder, Espensen Spirit, said:

On the gin Inspired by the Augustine monks and their gardens, I used traditional herbs and spices for the botanicals including chamomile flowers, angelica root, coriander seed and lemon peel. I also wanted to take some inspiration from life inside the Cathedral, so the gin also contains a tiny bit of Frankincense - tricky to use - but a beautiful botanical when balanced right, giving a wonderful piney taste.

We use traditional bathtub methods at Espensen Spirit, so the gin is first distilled, then the botanicals are infused into the gin in tubs - resulting in its beautiful pale yellow colour that comes from the chamomile flowers.

On Cathedrals This has been a dream project for me, as Cathedrals have always been part of my life. I lived in Wells, went to university in Canterbury, graduated from that Cathedral and now I live in Bristol. I have always been fascinated by and felt at peace in them.

On working with the team at the Cathedral The team has been an absolute dream to collaborate with and they’re inclusive and great fun to be around.

On the labels This is a new bottle and a new design for us, created in partnership with the Cathedral team. We wanted it to be strong, and bold, and really stand out on a shelf. There is also a little surprise when you drink the gin, because the inside of the bottle is illustrated with the Chapter House wall, which dates from the 12th century and is one of the oldest parts of the Cathedral.

You can now buy bottles of Chapterhouse Gin from the Cathedral Café.

(To take away, not to drink on site.)

18+. Please drink responsibly.

For press & publicity please contact Tim Popple 0117 946 8173