Neil Beckett is the person behind Kingston-upon-Thames' very own gin. A chartered engineer by trade he dramatically switched track in early 2013 into an industry in which he had no previous experience and armed with just a desire to create his own distinctive style of gin.
Local provenance is an important factor in his gins. Juniper is the key botanical in all gins and whereas most distillers source theirs from from overseas, Becketts is infused with locally sourced juniper harvested from Box Hill in the SurreyHill Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Juniper is, in fact, in decline in this country and Neil has, in conjunction with the National Trust and Forestry Commission, undertaken a project to create a new sustainable population of the shrub on the heathlands of Box Hill.
In addtion to the original Beckett's London Dry Gin two other products have since been added to the range, Beckett's Sloe Gin made with sloes again sourced from Box Hill, and their most recent addition Beckett's Spirited Gin which has a bold citrus edge.