The Hooting Owl Distillery, based in the historic village of Barmby Moor in the Yorkshire Wolds, takes inspiration and flavours from around the Yorkshire region to create a top-quality range of hand-crafted, small batch spirits.
The company’s base, Barmby Moor House, once a famous public house and iconic coaching inn, is steeped in history spanning several centuries. Tired horses would be changed here after the gruelling journey from York over ‘The Black Moor’ and it’s reputed that a young Queen Victoria stayed at the house, the master bedroom still being known today as The Queen’s Room in her honour.
Making good use of the extensive old stable building at Barmby Moor House, Hooting Owl is home to a fully equipped craft distillery, expertly distilling a range of traditional dry gins and other premium craft spirits combining a carefully researched and selected blend of botanicals. Inspired by the story of the house itself and by the geography, culinary heritage and abundant produce of Yorkshire, Hooting Owl also adds a hint of family and military history to the mix.
The Story of Sir Owlfred
The curious, whimsical story of The Hooting Owl Distillery and the legend of Sir Owlfred Tyton Hodgins, is as captivating and mysterious as the history of Barmby Moor House itself.
When Sarah and Dom acquired the old Yorkshire manor house at Barmby Moor in 2017, they embarked on an extensive restoration of the historic property. It was as the couple were refurbishing the old scullery that they stumbled across an intriguing, concealed floor safe which had belonged to a former resident of Barmby Moor House, Sir Owlfred Tyton Hodgins. Hiding within was a single bottle of Sir Owlfred’s Hooting Owl Signature Gin and an old book containing many of his secret recipes. Tied carefully to the book was a small diary of his development journey which he had titled ‘A Tour of Yorkshire’. The diary, embellished with drawings of his distillery, clearly showed it had been located in the stable buildings to the back of the house, buildings which still existed, albeit in a somewhat dilapidated state. This extraordinary discovery began a new, exciting chapter in the Hooting Owl story. Sarah and Dom, as Sir Owlfred had done before them, set out on a journey which was to draw inspiration from all four corners of Yorkshire to lovingly distil a range of high quality artisan spirits in the very location it was thought to have begun in 1865.
Today, the ethos of The Hooting Owl Distillery is heavily influenced by Yorkshire and is intrinsically woven with the story of Sir Olwlfed, the name Hooting Owl deriving from the prominent golden owl statue that takes pride of place above the entrance to the house – affectionately addressed as Sir Owlfred Tyton Hodgins.