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Cooper King Distillery


The Old Stable, Stillington Road, Sutton-On-The-Forest, YORK, North Yorkshire, YO61 1EH

Tel: 01347 808 232

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 39 reviews39 reviews
Cooper King Distillery


Why Cooper King Distillery started producing hand sanitiser

Business was booming, then Covid hit. During the last week of March our sales plummeted and we lost 85% of revenue overnight. We had a frantic 24 hrs putting in place emergency finance plans, making calls to the bank, insurers etc. We then received a number of enquires from the public and front-line workers as to whether we could produce hand sanitiser after seeing a news story of another distillery down south doing something similar.

We quickly understood there was – and still is – a HUGE national shortage of sanitiser, and that we could step up to help out. For us it made sense to do it, because we’re not just focussed on our environmental responsibilities but our social responsibilities too.  
Being a lean an agile company, we researched, developed and produced the first batch with a 5-day turnaround. We were the first distillery in Yorkshire to announce production of hand sanitiser. This was a big undertaking – we had equipment to repurpose and materials to source, but we did it and donated our entire 1st batch the following day to our local community and front-line staff.

The response on social media was huge and we were inundated with requests for more. We worked through the figures and came up with a strategy whereby we would sell to the public and business and use the profits to maintain a free supply to NHS, care homes and schools across the country. 

We have received some really heart-warming – and sometimes heart-wrenching - messages of thanks. Some of the organisations and people we’ve donated to include hospital A&E departments, intensive care units, care homes, schools, royal mail, mental health trusts, autism charities and even Mountain Rescue (60 so far, see current list below). The impact on them has been considerable – we were even told by one trust that they’d have to turn away vulnerable patients if it wasn’t for the sanitiser we gave to them.

A take home message from this is that there are a lot of positive stories out there – of people doing good for their communities. The more we focus on and share these stories, the more we will inspire others to help - and the smoother the ride will be over the coming months. 

Donations List

  • Sutton-on-the-Forest Primary School
  • York A&E
  • St Leonard's Hospice
  • Children's Safeguarding Hambleton & Thirsk
  • Home Instead Senior Care York
  • Stillington Post Office
  • Mental Health & Vulnerable People's Tea, for North Yorkshire
  • Leeds ICU Teaching Hospitals
  • Home Care Direct
  • Akari Care
  • Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team
  • Royal Mail Leeds
  • UK Maritime Pilots
  • Autism Plus
  • Easingwold caregroup
  • Peppermill Court Mental Health Hospital
  • Norton CP School
  • Housing 21 Home Health Care
  • Calder valley search and rescue team
  • Occupational Therapist (York)
  • Royal Mail, Tadcaster
  • Leeds Central Ambulance Station
  • Avante Care
  • Tees, esk and wear valleys NHS foundation trust
  • Home Instead Senior Care
  • Royal Mail – Alfreton
  • Wigton Community Volunteers
  • Local farmers
  • Prestwick Care
  • Centrepoint
  • Hadrian Healthcare Group
  • Supplies for Key Workers
  • Millfield surgery
  • First Responder
  • Chase Park Neuro Centre
  • Dementia Matters
  • Bluebird Care York
  • Friends of St Monica's Hospital
  • Bradford NHS
  • The Supper Club
  • York Road Residential Care
  • Medicine deliveries
  • Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust
  • Longley Park View Nursing Home
  • York Community Therapy Team
  • Safehands Homecare
  • Longley Park View Nursing
  • The ExtraCare Charitable Trust
  • Mental Health and Vulnerable People’s Team for North Yorkshire
  • Balls to Cancer
  • Ambulance Wish Foundation
  • Hampers 4 Nurses
  • Community Staff Nurses (Newcastle under Lyme)
  • Tyne Housing Association
  • Wilberfocre Trust
  • Scarborough & Ryedale Mountain Rescue
  • North Yorkshire Police
  • Gateshead Council
  • Birchlands Care Home
  • Amarna House
  • About Cooper King Distillery

Cooper King Distillery is a self-built, crowd-funded whisky and gin distillery near York, producing sustainable spirits underpinned by craftsmanship, honesty and adventure.

Cooper King Distillery is England’s only self-built whisky and gin distillery, and one of only a handful in the country to run on 100% green energy. Producing the first gin in Europe with 1% for the Planet® accreditation, 1 square metre of English woodland is planted for every bottle of gin sold. To date, 10,000 square metres of native woodland have been planted with charity partner the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.

Leading the industry in terms of sustainability, the i newspaper praised the distillery for its “above-and-beyond commitment to sustainability,” Bar Magazine described them as “a green pioneer,” and the Spirits Business listed the inaugural Dry Gin as “a sustainable spirit changing the world.” The distillery was the first in the country to offer a gin refill scheme. It also ships all orders in plastic-free packaging thanks to a clever origami-style recycled cardboard box developed with a local box-maker, and saves 26 tonnes of fresh water a year due to the use of innovative vacuum gin stills.

Founded in 2016 by Dr Abbie Neilson, a former scientist and Chris Jaume, a chartered architect, the venture was inspired by their desire to leave the rat-race. Chris and Abbie travelled across the globe and became fascinated by the eight operational whisky distilleries in Tasmania. With a mission to bring their discoveries back to England, the couple gave up their established careers and set up a truly independent gin and whisky distillery back home in Yorkshire.

Inspired by Chris’s great-great-grandfather, Charles Cooper King, the name Cooper King has rich historical ties to England and Yorkshire. Born in 1843, Charles, who was Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Marine Artillery, traced the Cooper King family history back to 1030, where he identified the Pigot family of Yorkshire, whose shield can still be seen today carved into the stonework throughout Ripon Cathedral.

Spirits & Collaboration
​​​​The vacuum-distilled Cooper King Dry Gin is hand-distilled with honey from their own beehives and a touch of locally grown lavender, and has won a host of international awards.

The single malt whisky is made from 100% Yorkshire-grown barley, distilled in a 900 litre Tasmanian copper pot still and matured in oak casks made by the country’s last independent cooper, Alastair Simms of Ripon. Its projected release date is 2023.

The distillery has ongoing collaborations with chef Tommy Banks and his Michelin-starred restaurant The Black Swan at Oldstead, creating a range of spirits distilled with fresh ingredients grown in the Black Swan gardens. Collaborations also include working with artisan bakery Haxby Bakehouse to upcycle spent gin botanicals into delicious breads, and working with Neil Bentinck, head chef at Skosh, York, to create a bold smoked + spiced gin.

Visit & Buy
The distillery is currently offering free countrywide delivery on any bottle purchase through the website. To purchase or find out more visit Currently it is not possible to visit the distillery in person, though prior to Covid the distillery shop and bar was open to the public every Saturday 12-6pm, with tours running at 2pm and 4pm (booking essential).

Book Tickets Online

Opening Times

* We're open every Saturday, 12-6pm! Drop in for a drink at the bar, meet the distillers, and take a bottle home from the distillery shop. Be sure to bring your empty Cooper King bottle back for a gin refill. Tours can be booked through our website ( and run most Saturdays at 2pm and 4pm. They last approximately 1hr 15 minutes and cost £10.

Special Offers

  • FREE DELIVERY for Key Workers for the whole of August. Simply enter the code KEYWORKER at the online checkout. Minimum order £29.

    More offers like this - NHS & Keyworkers



  • Disabled access
  • Disabled toilets

Booking & Payment Details

  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)

COVID-19 Response

  • 1m distancing in place
  • 2m distancing in place
  • Advance booking essential
  • Contactless payment possible
  • COVID-19 measures in place
  • COVID-19 refund and cancellation policy in place
  • COVID-19 risk assessment completed
  • COVID-19 staff training completed
  • Deep cleaning between visitors
  • Face mask essential (not provided)
  • Face masks available for visitors
  • Facilities must be booked
  • Hand sanitizer available to visitors & staff
  • Online booking possible
  • Open now
  • Outside seating
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Socially distanced spaced seating
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Time limited visits


  • Guided tours for groups

Meeting, Conference & Wedding Facilities

  • Bar area
  • Business support
  • Facilities for corporate hospitality
  • Grounds for outdoor activities
  • Mobile phone coverage
  • Sole use of venue


  • Free Parking

Property Facilities

  • Dogs Accepted
  • Gift shop
  • Guided tours for individuals
  • Guided tours mandatory
  • Smoking not allowed
  • WiFi or internet access

Site Features

  • Regional Tourist Board Member

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups
  • Adult Exclusive
  • Coach parties accepted
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Single sex groups welcomed

Road Directions

Head north out of York on Wigginton Road and continue until the village of Sutton-on-the-Forest. At the T-junction turn right, drive through the village, and take the left at the mini roundabout. Continue for 1 mile out of the village on Stillington Road (B1363). Our drive is on the right with the sign out front. 

Public Transport Directions

By bus: Take the number 40 bus from York city centre (Station Avenue or Exhibition Square) to Easingwold. Alight at Sutton-on-the-Forest. Walk 1 mile north out of the village on Stillington Road (B1363). Our drive is on the right with the sign out front. If you make it to Rideaway Equestrian you’ve gone too far! Please note, there is no footpath on part of the walk, only a grass verge.

By train: Arrive at York Train Station, then take the number 40 bus from York city centre (Station Avenue or Exhibition Square) to Easingwold. Alight at Sutton-on-the-Forest. Walk 1 mile north out of the village on Stillington Road (B1363). Our drive is on the right with the sign out front. If you make it to Rideaway Equestrian you’ve gone too far! Please note, there is no footpath on part of the walk, only a grass verge.

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