The Cat & Fiddle

Britains highest altitude distillery, based at the famous Cat & Fiddle.

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The Story of The Cat & Fiddle

1813

1813

The Cat & Fiddle is born

In 1813 a local Silk Merchant called John Ryle purchased a plot of land next to a brand new turnpike road. Upon this plot, he built a beautiful, warm, cosy haven where weary travellers could enjoy a drink and a bite to eat. The weather at this location was often inclement, and Mr Ryle’s Inn soon became a necessary stop when travelling between the towns of Macclesfield and Buxton. He named his Inn, The Cat & Fiddle.

1900's

1900's

The Inn thrives

Over the years, the Inn has played a part in many stories. Some personal, some more of international importance (Charles Rolls regularly used it as stop-off whilst testing cars for his fledgling business with a Mr Royce).

1931

1931

The Robinsons

The Robinsons family purchase the Cat & Fiddle. A much loved Inn that remains in their ownership.

Late 1990s

Late 1990s

The Inn struggles to survive

Over the last few decades, like many other pubs, the Inn struggled to survive as a business. Several factors are to blame, but it’s remote, yet beautiful location certainly didn’t help to encourage drinkers to visit and spend time.

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

The Inn closes its doors

The Cat & Fiddle closed its doors on Chrismas Eve for the last time as a pub. The Robinson family worked hard to find the right partner, with the right business plan, who could take The Cat & Fiddle into a sustainable and successful future – it was clear that The Cat & Fiddle needed to operate as more than a pub.

2015

2015

Forest Gin is born

Meanwhile, as the Inn closed, Forest Gin was just starting. A local family began a small business, selling gin which they distilled in their kitchen, using botanicals from the forest below The Cat & Fiddle. They called the product Forest Gin.

May 2019

May 2019

The Forest Distillery needs more room

The Forest Distillery grew fast and was in urgent need of a space to put barrels of freshly distilled spirit to “sleep” for a few years until it was ready to be enjoyed as English Single Malt Whisky. The Cat & Fiddle just happens to have an extensive network of cellars at 1600 feet above sea level with the most perfect conditions for whisky to mature…coincidence or fate?

November 2019

November 2019

The Forest moves into The Cat & Fiddle

This iconic pub needed a major transformation to secure its future, including a new environmentally friendly sewage treatment plant and lots of other major refurbishment works, to breathe life in to this legendary hidden gem. In November 2019, we ran a Crowd funder which raised over £55,000 to assist us and Robinsons Brewery to attempt to re-open the Cat & Fiddle as Britains highest altitude distillery.

Today

Today

Renovations are complete!

The Cat & Fiddle has finally been restored to its former glory and is now the home of our award winning Forest Distillery. We hold regular tours around the distillery. Our shop has been opened where you can browse our fantastic range of distillery products along with a large variety of locally sourced goods.

See What We’re Up To

Peek into Forest Distillery’s online and on-site store and purchase some one-of-a-kind goodies and keepsakes, whether you’re gifting yourself or a special someone. Or you could always join us for a tour of our distillery.

Distillery Tours

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The Bar

Details of the bar area

Our Spirits

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Our Events

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Our Awards

Global World Whisky Masters

The Best Fifty

The Spirits Business

INDY Best Whisky

San Francisco World Spirits Competition