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Desmond Payne recognised in New Years Honours

Desmond Payne, master distiller for Beefeater, has been recognised in the Queen's New Year's Honours list 2018. Payne has been made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to the UK gin industry.

The MBE comes in Payne's Golden Jubilee year following 50 years in the gin industry.

Payne has worked as master distiller at the Beefeater Distillery since 1995. Throughout his 50-year tenure in the gin industry, he has contributed his own personal achievements to the Beefeater legacy through creations including the super-premium Beefeater 24 and the ultra-premium Beefeater Burrough’s Reserve.

Desmond remains at the centre of the category today, playing an active role in the production of Beefeater under the newly-established The Gin Hub. Formed by Pernod Ricard last year, The Gin Hub is set to drive the growth of three of its iconic gin brands – Beefeater, Plymouth and Seagrams.

Desmond Payne comments: “I am truly honoured to receive this award. It’s a real privilege working at Beefeater and in this industry and to be recognised in this manner is very humbling. I am just thrilled to have been able to witness the remarkable resurgence of this great industry. There have been so many brilliant moments over the years and this industry continues to push the boundaries both in terms of quality and innovation –  I’m just delighted to be able to play a part in it.”

9 January 2018 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor