There are plenty of cracking breweries dotted in and around York.

But what is there for the spirits drinker who wants to stay local?

Fret no more. Step forward Cooper King Distillery. It will soon produce its first small batches of whisky, gin and other spirits from its premises only a few miles north of the city centre.

And you could be among the first to taste them.

Inspired down under

Passionated about craft distilling… Abbie and Chris

Cooper King Distillery has been set up by Chris Jaume and Abbie Neilson.

They were an architect and a scientist respectively, until a trip to Australia in 2014.

The couple visited all eight whisky distilleries in the state of Tasmania, and were inspired by the small producers who were creating hand-crafted spirits.

Armed with a wealth of knowledge they came home ready to distil something unique in their Sutton-on-the-Forest HQ.

Getting stuck in

The couple will be involved in every stage of the process.

When creating their single malt whisky, for instance, they will mash, ferment, distil, age and bottle the drink all under one roof, making them one of only a few English distilleries to do so.

Housed in a former stable block, their operation includes the distillery, a cask maturation warehouse, a tasting room and well-stocked shop.

Collecting the barrels

Cooper King Distillery is named after Chris’s great-great-grandfather Charles Cooper King, a Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Marine Artillery.

They thought his adventurous spirit fitted the business perfectly. But there was a problem – they had to seek permission from the Cabinet Office to use the word ‘King’ in their company name.

Fortunately the family documents proved they had every right to the regal monicker and permission was granted.

Be a part of it

The HQ is a converted stable

Cooper King Distillery is now inviting whisky and gin enthusiasts to become part of England’s youngest distillery through its Founders’ Club.

With prices starting at £30, members will be rewarded with first-release products, rare bottlings, distillery merchandise and lifetime membership.

“We can’t wait to welcome other fine fellows into the Cooper King family to share in the exciting times ahead,” said Abbie.

“Our founders make this whole project worthwhile. They will be the first to reap the rewards when the stills start flowing with our unique English spirit.”

To find out more, visit the Cooper King Distillery website.