Saddleworth distillery on the move

AN award-winning distillery in Lees will be moving to a new home next year as it seeks to expand.

Defiance Spirits has been based at Unit 9 on the Woodend Mill industrial estate for the past six years.

But founder and owner Paul Sheerin has decided to switch location to Spotland Bridge Mill in Rochdale, as part of a £7 million investment in the old textile mill – which his business’s logo is based on, after both of his parents worked in textiles.

Paul said “many factors” influenced his decision, including the current location’s “poor HGV access”, and admitted having a gin experience/spirits bar on an industrial estate “isn’t ideal”.

On the new location, Paul explained: “There is a cool cafe/restaurant already on site, Mill About, and is soon to be joined by a brewery and tasting room.

“The space comprises 3,800ft with great access for HGVs and people, with a vast car park and great links to transport nearby.”

The Defiance range of products has defied the odds to receive worldwide acclaim, including at the World Spirits competition in San Francisco in 2020 – when its Navy Strength premium gin secured double gold in the ‘unaged white spirit category’ and then went on to become ‘best in show’.

Paul is in high spirits that the move will help the brand to grow even further.

“We currently export to two countries and are in talks with another two for 2024,” he said.

“Whilst the economy isn’t great at the moment, I have incredible belief in our brand and feel we haven’t even come close to hitting our stride yet.”

Defiance Spirits will close to the public at its Woodend Mill site on December 31.

But before it says goodbye to Saddleworth, the distillery is hosting a number of events for customers to enjoy.

There will be two bar nights on Friday, November 24, and Friday, December 1.

There will also be two Christmas Markets, where there will be new stone-branded candles, spirits and a very special mulled gin to welcome you. They are taking place on Saturday, November 25, and Saturday, December 9, from 10am to 3pm on both days.

For more information about Defiance Spirits, visit

One Reply to “Saddleworth distillery on the move”

  1. HI Paul
    i was hoping to book the gin academy for my son in laws 30th birthday ,sometime around the 30th march . Are you looking to be putting this on in your new location by then

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