A sell-out gin made especially for Carlisle could be the key to introducing a new industry in the city.

The very first batch of Carlisle Gin was snapped up in less than two weeks when it first hit the shelves of exclusive stockist House of Malt in November.

It’s hoped a second batch, now in stock, will prove just as popular as profits from the specially-made spirit could be used to create Carlisle’s first distillery.

Created by Paul Carruthers and Becky Brown, the hand-crafted dry gin launched on November 24, the day House of Malt moved to its new home in Warwick Road. By December 10 it had sold out.

Paul said: “I want Carlisle Gin to be a gin of the people, something that represents their city and something they can be proud of.

“It’s about trying to build an industry because that industry doesn’t exist in Carlisle and it would be great if it did.”

Paul explained that the gin is partly made at Fenney Street Distillery in Manchester, where he and Becky live, but most of the process is now done in Carlisle. It can’t be solely made in Carlisle because there is currently no distillery.

The couple already produce Fenney Street Gin, a high-end product sold in Selfridges.

But all their family live here and, while they make regular visits, they hope that their latest project could bring them home.

Paul, nurse executive for Bupa, played with the idea of making a gin for Carlisle for a while and was surprised one hadn’t already been created.

He had a simple classic gin recipe he wanted other people to enjoy and decided this would become Carlisle Gin.

He and Becky, who works as a midwife, set about producing it from their kitchen distillery.

They were thrilled with how quickly the first batch of 345 bottles sold but believe this second batch is more of a test.

Cautious about how quickly they should move, the couple, both 29, want to see how sales go before they make any firm plans.

Paul’s dream is to set up a distillery in the city and he’s passionate about it becoming a career, though plans are only in the very early stages.

It is hoped the distillery could include a bar and gin experience. Whether that happens or not, Paul said, is down to finances and whether people want it.

“This is concept one of probably a lot of concepts,” said the former William Howard School pupil.

“I feel like Carlisle deserved its own gin and I feel like it is my ticket home.”

“I feel like people in Carlisle either jump on board with something or they completely don’t and I wasn’t willing to finance a distillery in Carlisle until I worked out how this gin was going to go.

“The idea is to set up a distillery in Carlisle that would distil it.

“With the gin revolution there is an opportunity there for Carlisle to jump on board with that.

“It is all about working out if there is a market for this gin and that only comes with time.

“Whether the Carlisle Gin sells loads or it doesn’t, there will be me making Carlisle Gin in Carlisle at some point. But I would like it to be more than that.”

Carlisle Gin can be bought in House of Malt and sampled in city bars including The Last Zebra, Coco Mill and Thin White Duke.

“It’s all to do with how many bottles of gin are sold. It is a really good start,” said Ben Turnbull, House of Malt Director.

“It’s just a really good gin. It’s soft and easy-drinking and it’s not over the top with botanicals, which some can be.

“It’s juniper-led so it’s traditional London dry gin-style”

He continued: “I think [the distillery] would put Carlisle on the map, I think even the gin has.

“We had it online and have sold it to London and other cities as well. It’s only 10 per cent but people are wanting to try new gins and styles.

“It definitely makes people notice Carlisle more.”

Paul and Becky, a former Caldew School pupil, launched Fenney Street Gin in February 2018 and they have worked over the past year to build the premium brand, which its hoped will soon be on the shelves of Harvey Nichols and Harrods.

Further editions of Carlisle Gin are in the pipe-line including fruit flavours and a navy strength gin.

House of Malt, which sells whisky, gin and wine, moved from Crosby Street to Warwick Road in November. Ben and the team are also looking to create their own brand of Whisky.