Masons Yorkshire Gin
What town/city are you based in?
Number of generations
Number of employees
Tell us about your family business (What you do, how you started, who’s involved etc)
Based in Bedale, North Yorkshire, Masons Dry Yorkshire Gin Ltd. was started by Directors – husband and wife team, Karl and Cathy Mason. It came about after the gin lovers were disappointed to find that so many gins tasted the same and lacked any distinction.
The Masons took their love of gin to social media by setting up the ‘Gin & Tonic Friday’ Facebook group for their friends, so they could all share the pictures of their G&Ts. After being inundated with countless pictures of G&Ts, the group’s fan base grew rapidly to over 10,000 followers.
As the group grew, so did Cathy and Karl’s knowledge and palate, allowing them to become connoisseurs of gin, as well as spokespeople for various events commenting on gin trends and tastes. After tasting so many gins, and finding that many tasted similar and were short of a depth of flavour, the pair wanted a gin with “a taste” so decided to take a big leap and craft their own, created in their home county of Yorkshire.
The pair underwent hours and hours of tasting, experimenting and distilling, with the help of a small distillery in Cambridge as none existed in Yorkshire. They created the perfect flavour and finish which would become Masons Dry Yorkshire Gin and more importantly a gin that Cathy and Karl would choose to drink and put their name too. They officially launched their product on World Gin Day in 2013 with the Lavender and Tea Editions being launched on their second birthday in 2015.
Family members for Masons Yorkshire Gin include:
Karl Mason – Managing Director (married to Cathy Mason)
Cathy Mason – Director (married to Karl Mason, twin sister of Rachel)
Anna Woods – Events Assistant (Karl & Cathy’s daughter)
Charlie Woods – Events Assistant (Karl & Cathy’s son)
Harry Dobson – Warehouse & Stock Controller (Karl and Cathy’s nephew; Rachel’s son; Daisy’s brother, Karl’s Godson)
Daisy Dobson – Events Assistant (Karl & Cathy’s niece; Rachel’s daughter; Harry’s sister)
Rachel Dobson – Events Assistant (Cathy’s twin sister; mother to Harry and Daisy)
Anthea Attwood – Assistant Accounts Administrator (Cathy Mason’s mother; Rachel Dobson’s mother; Grandmother to Anna, Harry and Daisy)
What’s your proudest moment/biggest achievement as a family business?
Asking Karl and Cathy there are a couple of standout moments:
Being in “Gin the Movie” YouTube link to trailer here: https://youtu.be/Mr_aQwTQa7c
Going to the pre-launch at the Country Life Magazine event at the National History Museum and watching Sister Sledge perform while stood under Dippy the Dinosaur in the Great Hall!!
A particular award?
Winning Gold at the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition in 2016, at World Gin Awards 2017 and achieving a clean sweep across the Masons range at the San Francisco World Spirits Awards 2017 with two Golds, one Silver and one Bronze are definitely moments to cherish. Knowing that experts agree with Mason’s own belief that the products stand out from the crowd so receiving these accolades totally backs this up.
What do you love about being a family business?
Karl and Cathy want to keep Bedale and their family at the heart of everything they do. They employ local people as well as family members and want Masons to become a well-known premium drinks brand. Future business plans have Bedale at the heart of the decision making process.
They live in Bedale, Cathy has lived there all her life, her parents still do too, whilst Karl comes from just 8 miles away in Northallerton. They both love it and are adamant they will stay here.