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Monkey Hanger Swings into the UK Gin Scene

by Kaitlin Graham 12 Sep 2023

A Hartlepool native, now based in the U.S., is bringing her heritage to the world through a new business venture. Monkey Hanger Co. tells the infamous legend of the Hartlepool Monkey through a collection of lifestyle products, including a locally distilled gin and range of merchandise.

Company founder, Amelia Pearce, was inspired to share the legend of her hometown which had captivated so many people during her many years of global business travel.

“While travelling, people would ask where I was from and it would lead to the sharing of the Monkey Hanger story, which people just loved and remembered. So, it seemed a natural choice to build a brand based on the legend, however, it is also very important to me that the business helps to positively promote the local area and showcases regional products.”

The brand, which launched in the U.S. in May, is now marking its official launch in the U.K. with its first custom-recipe small batch gin, made just a monkey’s throw from Hartlepool.

Produced in collaboration with PitWheel Distillery, an award-winning small batch craft distillery in Station Town, Wingate, Monkey Hanger gin is made to a unique recipe with ingredients sourced as locally as possible. A twist on a traditional London Dry Gin, the Monkey Hanger blend replaces the traditional coriander seed with orris root, and reduces the juniper to achieve a fresh profile, balanced with elderflower, liquorice and saffron.

Monkey Hanger gin is crafted using only natural botanicals, fruits, herbs, and spices, and contains no artificial flavourings. To showcase the ultra-small batch production, and the love and care that goes into it, every bottle is individually hand numbered.

Speaking about the collaboration, Derrick Rickard, Managing Director and Distiller at PitWheel Distillery said, “As a small family run craft gin distillery, PitWheel are extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to work in collaboration with Amelia in creating the first Monkey Hanger gin. From the beginning, she had a clear vision of what she wanted to achieve with the gin, and with the historical links to her hometown - similar to our own branding ethos - it made working together in bringing this to market a no brainer!”

In addition to the brand’s partnership with a local distiller, Monkey Hanger Co. is excited to announce its first local stockist, The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Hartlepool. Located on the same coastline where the legendary monkey met his fate, the Museum features a recreated 18th century seaport and is home to the HMS Trincomalee, the oldest floating British warship.

Amelia said “We are delighted to be launching our gin with the support of The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Hartlepool. It couldn’t be a more fitting location for our gin, and we are very grateful to Simon for the opportunity.”

Simon Walsh, Operations Manager at The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Hartlepool, added, “We are always on the lookout for local products, and Monkey Hanger gin is a perfect fit for our location. The Monkey Hanger legend is an important part of the local story and for our visitors to be able to take away a part of the legend is fantastic.”

Continuing the local connection, Amelia worked closely with local marketing agency, and former colleagues, dodio – The Do Studio to bring Monkey Hanger to life, including branding, website development, advertising and local photography.

Managing Director of dodio, Chris Kean said “It doesn’t get much more fun and rewarding for us as a team to be able to apply our skills to build and help take to market a fresh brand backed by passionate people, truly excellent products and a fascinating local legend.”

Monkey Hanger gin is now available for purchase in the U.K. at and the Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool retail store.

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