While Ulrich was enjoying the Spanish sunshine we got word that Symphonia gin is on the shortlist as a Finalist in the Entrepreneurial Spirit category of the Irish News Workplace and Employment Awards (WEA).

WE have been shortlisted as a finalist in the 2019 Irish News Workplace and Employment Awards and we are absolutely delighted.

These awards, which are now in their 13th year, recognise the importance of people to an organisation and celebrates the very best organisations in Northern Ireland.

We launched our range of Symphonia Gins at World Gin Day in London in June 2018. So, as new to the marketplace as we are, we are thrilled to get shortlisted as a finalist in the ‘Entrepreneurial Spirit’ category of these prestigious awards.

Every organisation has a great story to share and it’s the people behind the brand who work so hard to make things happen. We decided to enter these awards to tell Ulrich’s story.

It’s his story and his innovative approach to making gin which is capturing people’s attention.

Ulrich grew up with a great interest in chemistry which then became his chosen subject of study. He had a desire to use his knowledge of chemistry to discover new medicines. After studying for a PhD in chemistry he spent a few years doing further research at Harvard University as a post-doctoral fellow working with some of the best chemists in the world before joining the pharmaceutical industry.

After 30 years in a career working in laboratories discovering treatments for asthma, HIV, influenza and cancer, Ulrich’s desire to break away and do something creative within the food and drink sector was bubbling.

As he was watching the rise of Craft Gin a spark of an opportunity emerged.

Ulrich spent months studying the industry. He researched costs, the equipment he would need and how he would produce something which would set his gins apart from all other gins. He thought about provenance, the environment and how he could produce great tasting gins in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Ulrich wanted to be able to combine his passion for the countryside with his love of science.

He wanted, where possible, to use ingredients grown in the area to give his spirits a real authenticity so he came up with the idea to use his scientific knowledge to analyse the flavour molecules. He worked with the University of Ulster to analyse the flavor molecules in commonly used gin botanicals and then identify suitable replacements which grow locally.

It was during his research into the techniques of producing gin he identified two techniques which would really make his gin stand out. One is cold distillation which allows distillation at room temperature which preserves flavours and fragrances which would be destroyed during traditional distillation. The second technique is microwave extraction – a technique used by the perfumery industry to extract aromas from various natural products, for example rose petals. Ulrich realized this could be adopted to the production of gin. And so our story began.

We believe there is no other gin distiller in the world who adopts this approach to making gin.

We love this story and we hope the team of judges at the Irish News do too. To be a finalist is great, to win would be the marvelous.

The awards presentation night will take place at Titanic Belfast which will be hosted by BBC’s Karen Patterson who will be joined on stage with funnyman, Tim McGarry.

Wish us good luck!!




  • Symphonia is a range of handcrafted Irish spirits celebrating produce grown in the Irish countryside. The sophisticated Dry Gin is of exquisite complexity. The crisp Apple Gin is made using Co Armagh Bramley Apples and the Fruit Cup is a delicious summer fruit spirit drink. Symphonia is distilled at The Woodlab Distillery by Dr Ulrich Dyer who uses cold distillation to preserve flavours which are lost during traditional distillation. 
  • For interview requests or further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379|
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