Humble Beginnings

Humble Beginnings

The story of the House of Ruhr begins in the 1940s, a tale of two families uniting to create special spirits with a story.

Distillerie Eicker & Callen is long-established and is famous in its local Ruhr Valley location. Originally, the Eickers and the Callens founded, owned and ran the distillery, with the help from certain members of the Meinken family.

The Meinkens were known for their German drugstores, Meinken's, which still exist to this day - but they also worked in the Eicker & Callen distillery for many years, given their background as knowledgable chemists.

The grandfather of the original distillery owner actually worked in Meinken's drugstore and played a key role in the development of the recipes we’ve come to know and love as The House of Ruhr’s gins.

In the 40s, at the beginning of the war, all able bodied men were forced to take part in World War 2, and so the grandfather enrolled as a medic alongside 34 other brave men in his squad. Whilst in the field, he continued to produce various recipes, mostly for medical purposes.

The 35 medics together swore that, following the end of the war, they would meet in the Meinken's drugstore to toast the end of the war hardship. Unfortunately, at the end of the war only 9 of the original 35 medics returned, and a special spirit recipe was made to honour those 9 men, a recipe that still exists today!

Now we fast forward to 2015, when, after having worked closely with the Eiker & Callens in the distillery for decades, Peter Meinken & family claimed ownership of the distillery. They brought with them an extreme wealth of generational knowledge, not to mention the multitude of recipes they had sold in the drugstores all the while, and the distillery remains standing strong to this day.

It was a dream of Peter's to see his family's recipes sold not just in Germany but the rest of the world, and as a result of the friendship and shared love of gin between himself and House of Ruhr founder Bryn, the vision extended to seeing the products on the shelves of Newcastle's bars and restaurants.

And so, in 2018, the dream became a reality and the first exclusive House of Ruhr gin blends were distilled at the Eicker & Callen Distillery in Germany, and subsequently shipped to the UK to be introduced by Bryn to the gin drinkers of the North East.

Today, we have three unique gins on offer alongside a caramel liqueur, which is produced using the original 1940s Meinken family recipe, with plans for new and exciting spirits to be introduced from 2022 and beyond.

We hope you'll become a part of our story as we aim to bring more authentic and unique spirits to the table over the years.