James Oag-Cooper on innovation in the food industry

In dialogue with the co-founder of Hyke Gin - how innovation and creativity revolutionize the beverage industry.

Hyke Gin from London
Source: Foxhole Spirits by Matthew Hastings

Hyke Gin is a premium gin from the young brand Foxhole Spirits. The special feature: it is made from high-quality by-products of the grape harvest, with the aim of promoting the creativity of the beverage industry and reducing food waste. Innovation and sustainable life go hand in hand in the English manufactory.

Co-founder of Foxhole Spirits and inventor of Hyke Gin James Oag-Cooper in personal conversation with Haus von Eden

1. The idea for your company came from? A conversation between me and Sam Linter, the senior winemaker in one of our cooperative vineyards. We had both thought a lot about how to use the excess grape harvest.

We found that no one had ever made a gin from English grapes and asked us if that was possible. As a pilot project, we collected a small amount of the crop waste and created the first Foxhole Gin.

Hyke gin

Source: Foxhole Spirits

2. What is special about your product? That all our spirits are geared to being made from surplus raw materials. The secret is that they are really incredibly high quality materials. The complete processing of the raw material sets us apart. In addition, the quality is our priority: This applies to the spirit itself, but also for everything else such as packaging, service and especially the tasting by our "Signature Serves".

3. Your mission is it? Produce premium quality spirits from otherwise unused resources.

Hyke gin

James Oag-Cooper, source: Foxhole Spirits

4. Are you drawing inspiration? When I see how we can tackle the problem of food overages. Understanding the enormity of the problem and turning that knowledge into quality products is a good feeling. Also knowing that we have the skills and abilities to fulfill our mission.

5. Your brand stands for? Handmade products that are unique, honest about their origin and, above all, delicious. Our Hyke Gin is an embodiment of this ambition and our innovative spirit. The product and design reflect the different locations from which the grapes are made.

6. Tradition is lived by you? Our production methods: Because wine has been around for thousands of years. However, we are using a modern twist on processing, hoping to inspire consumers and industry to make greater use of vintage byproducts.

"Distilling has been around for thousands of years, but our products have a new focus on sustainable luxury, and I hope sustainability will be a matter of course in the future, and no explanation is needed."

7. Consciously life means for you? That all people in everyday life more consciously deal with our resources. In addition, industry should seek to implement more sustainable practices through its production and supply chains in order to exploit resources and minimize waste.

8. You want to show the world? That luxury products in the food industry can also be obtained on a larger scale from surpluses. Not only is this important to the beverage industry, but all industries should become more inventive and streamline processes and innovations. Then there is no reason why not everything should be sustainable, including luxury goods.

9. Your secret of success is? Our traditional Botanicals recipe. In the recipe developments, we quickly realized that the unique taste characteristics were those that came directly from the brandy. Our recipe allows these properties to show through in the final gin without appearing dominant.

10. Your next step is? To experiment with alternative distillation techniques to gain more alcohol from the grape skin. Finally, we would like to sell enough products to recycle 100% of the excess grapes from our supplier Richard Hochfeld.

Richard Hochfeld is one of the largest fruit importers in the UK, with 1,4 million baskets of grapes a year in surplus. After that, we also want to work with other partners to share our knowledge and expertise.

This way to the house of Eden Guide - Hyke Gin


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