A well-known drinks entrepreneur is selling his own bar to concentrate on his booming spirits and liqueurs business.
Mike Pennington has put the wine bar Burgundy’s in Lowther Street, Kendal, which he has run for 32 years, up for sale. And he has converted the crafts beer and food outlet, the Brewhouse in Tanner’s Yard, into the headquarters of his new business Pennington’s Spirits and Liqueurs. The move came after two drinks he developed at Burgundy’s have won international acclaim.
Kendal Mint Cake Liqueur has scooped a silver and two bronze awards at the Bartender Brand Awards 2018.
The green liqueur, based on the original Kendal Mint cake recipe, containing mint, cacao and secret ingredients fused with alcohol and sugars, has proved a huge success with farm shops, delis and up-market retailers.
And Lakeland Moon Gin, made with locally sourced junipers picked under a full moon, also gained back to back awards at the International Spirits Challenge 2018. This year winning a bronze medal.
“For our drinks to be recognised by such prestigious awards is a real boost.
“There is a huge increase in demand for spirits and cocktails and our aim to come up with products that are unique and fill gaps in that market,” said Mike.
The new company has expanded its range, adding Lakeland Moon Organic Vodka, Bakewell Liqueur, Gingerbread Liqueur and Kendal Mint Cake & Organic Vodka.
“We are re-branding to incorporate everything that we are doing,” said Mike. He has also appointed a new business development manager, Tim Brownhill, who has a business degree and marketing background.
On leaving Burgundy’s, on which he hopes to complete a sale in the near future, he said: “Thirty-two years is a long time to run a bar, but it has led to another business.
“Without Burgundy’s the spirits and cocktail business would never have started. It enables me to maintain my passion for the drinks industry.
“I am really excited for the future of the spirits company. I love creating new products and bringing Tim in to drive the business forward enables me to be creative in coming up with new ideas.”
Burgundy’s started as a wine bar in the 1980s providing something new to Kendal. By the early 1990s the emphasis had switched to the embryonic cask ale revival.
By 1994 the establishment was included in the Good Beer Guide, with an ethos of offering good drinks right across the board.
Five years ago Mike fulfilled a long-standing ambition to add a micro-brewery to the mix.
The micro-brewery will be on show behind a glass petition in the new headquarters of the new business.