Story

JULY 14 2018: THE BACHELOR PARTY

 

Alan and Michael meet for the first time at a bachelor party. Good food is served (bacon-toast) and lots of beers and whisky was drunk. At one point during the night the talk falls on spirits production and Alan convinces Michael that he should join a whisky project he’s working on getting off the ground. Being a huge whisky fan, Michael agrees to join. Alan and Michael agrees to talk more at the wedding.

AUGUST 2018: THE WEDDING

Alan and Michael meets again at the wedding. Late in the evening Alan asks Michael when he thinks they should get started. “Started with what?” Michael replies. Michael has no recollection of agreeing to a whisky project but thinks it sounds like a great idea and wants to join (again). Alan and Michael agrees to meet up a few months later to plan.

NOVEMBER 2018: THE MISSION

Alan and Michael met at the whisky bar Lidkøb to taste whisky and plan. Big words were said, there was a lot of arm-waving, banging on the table, whisky that was sniffed and drunk. In the end they come up with the key mission of Gefjun: Producing unique spirits using nano-batches and targeting a carbon negative production.

Michael has recently become a dad and Alan was busy moving into a new house so they agree to kick off the project in January 2019, when things have settled down a bit.

JANUARY 2019: THE BEGINNING

Alan is the alcohol professional of the two he’s experimented with different beer-type drinks like real Viking “Mjød” (eng: Mead) based on honey. Michael is the entrepreneur who has been in a part of multiple startups. Although experienced in each of their fields, none of them has produced or been involved in a spirits production before. So the first step is to learn the trade. And start planning the steps to the first drops. They visit many distilleries and gradually a plan emerges. They’re also joined by Kenneth — a food professional.

FEBRUARY 2019: THE PLAN

After having studied the process of producing spirits Alan and Michael settle on a plan. Although it all started with whisky they decided to produce a batch of gin first to ensure Gefjun will stand on solid financial ground before embarking on whisky production, which due to the maturation requirements will be a lot more expensive to produce. The gin production will also enable Alan and Michael to get faster feedback on the production process of the spirits. They’re also joined by Klaus — a biotech engineer to help oversee the general production process.

MARCH 2019: THE PRODUCT(S)

Starting with the gin, Alan and Michael embarks on a quest to determine what kind of gin they want to produce as their first batch. They team up with Mads, who’s an experienced bartender and restaurant services professional who also happens be a gin connoisseur. Mads takes Alan and Michael through countless tastings before Alan and Michael agrees on a direction for their gin. They agree on producing two types: London dry, and Navy, both with a base on apples.

APRIL 2019: THE DISTILLERY 1.0

Alan and Michael start making plans for the Gefjun Distillery 1.0. In the startup world, a key concept is failing fast in order to improve a product faster. The only way a company can do that is by keeping a razor-sharp focus. Alan and Michael quickly agree that the focus must be on the taste and that implies the ingredients must be the focus. Hence, after much deliberation Alan and Michael decide that for the gin they will use a white-label distillery in order to ensure they have a razor sharp focus on the ingredients to create the best product possible. This will also ensure that Alan and Michael will learn spirits production from the best before embarking on the whisky journey.

MAY 2019: THE INGREDIENTS

After a 2-3 months search Alan and Michael have finally settled on a group of ingredients for the gin. Water from a well in Vallør, Apples from Lilleø, local botanicals and finally, a good 0.5L heavy bartender-friendly bottle. Read more about our carefully selected ingredients here.

JUNE 2019: THE PIPELINE

Alan and Michael starts planning the post-production steps such as packaging, transportation, storage and sales. They connect with a number of spirits professionals such as Bart (packaging) and Bent (sales) to ensure that they thought everything through. The plan is ready for the test.

AUGUST 2019: THE WAIT

Everything is ready. Alan and Michael is just waiting for the apples on Stevns to be ready for picking. A team has been assembled and are ready to go and pick when the apples are just right. For the first approximately 1300 bottles that will be produced they’re aiming for an apple harvest of approximately 6 tons. Once the apples are picked they will be shipped to our distillery partner. We literally can’t wait.

OCTOBER 2019: THE CALL

The day arrived in late October where we got the call from our fruit farmer: “The apples are ready!”. Now the planning and one year of work culminated in two busy weeks, where the apples were picked, shipped, fermented, distilled and in mid November we were ready to make the final tunings.

NOVEMBER 2019: THE TUNINGS

The day arrived where we had to literally taste the fruits of our labour and fine tune the gin. One year of researching, planning, tastings, farm visits, thinking, buying all culminated in a shot of a 76% alcoholic beverage. And holy moly. The original plan was to make a London Dry gin which is distilled to 96% hereby removing most taste, but as we tasted the raw spirits made from the apples, we just couldn’t do it. The apples give the spirits such an amazing body, nutty and complex taste that we had to skip the London Dry part and just make a gin. Finally, we worked with different botanical combinations to find the right mixture that augmented the gin perfectly.

THE RELEASE

Finally, the day arrived where we got to release our Gefjun Abild gin to the world. The release event was held in Solrød Strand together with a good brewery friend of ours. We had a full house from beginning to end with general cheers and applause.

Now the hard work begins of building the future of Gefjun.

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