Phantom & Friends 4.0: Pizza and Gin!
Already plenty of you have snapped up your boxes, and we are so happy to see them flying out! We thought that today we’d give you a little further insight into these two brilliant companies.
First off, a little spotlight on Cross Stream Distillery!
Charles and Chloe are the husband and wife team behind Cross Stream Distillery, which was born out of a love for the drinks industry and a passion to create something of their own. The two met many years ago while working for The Fat Duck Group where they were fortunate enough to experience some of the best food and drink in the industry, ultimately inspiring them to set up their own micro-distillery.
In 2019, they got the keys to a small garage at the back of an industrial estate in Marlow Bottom. They bought themselves a 60 litre alembic copper potstill (“our resident Bond Girl, Jinx”), which was hand made in Portugal as well as a 2.5 litre miniature still (called Meg, named after Chloe’s grandmother), which they taught themselves to distill on. After many months spent tinkering, Cross Stream’s first gin was perfected, A London Dry Gin, which was released in the summer of 2019.
In their own words, they’re luddites – and their whole gin-making process is based on traditional methods. They distill over open flame, bottle, label and wax every gin by hand.
“It’s important for us to do as much of the work as possible, without any outside help or the use of digital technology.”
They told us that they like to make everything at Cross Stream as personal as possible, so they looked into family history and chose to name the distillery after an estate based in Surrey, that Charles’ great grandfather built from the ground up in the early 1900s, and loved the parallels his story drew to theirs of starting a distillery from scratch.
It’s really important to Charles and Chloe that the company is honest and open – they’re very transparent in their processes and have started documenting behind-the-scenes footage of the distillery, which can be found on the Cross Stream YouTube page.
And an exclusive little bit of gossip we have for you, is that Cross Stream Distillery are working on an exciting new product to add to their range, which will be launching soon – so be sure to stay tuned!
The second company we’ve teamed up with is none other than Rolling Dough Pizza.
We spoke to Jonathan last week to get some more details on the history of the business. It all started when he bought a trailer off of eBay, with the intention of turning into his own street food cart. A few months, a lot of work, and several trial pizza parties later, Rolling Dough was born.
Very quickly, they were catering all sorts of events from weddings to dog shows, along with securing a pitch in London a couple of years in. Once, they had the (highly enviable) slot to cater a VIP area in Glastonbury, less than 30m from the stage!
Once lockdown hit the UK in 2020, all their usual events were cancelled and they found themselves like all other street food traders in a difficult position. With little (read: no) support from the government, they adapted quickly, and within a few weeks Rolling Dough DIY pizza kits were available for local delivery.
Thankfully, these were a real success and kept them going through that first lockdown – and by chance, one delivery to a local landlord and a short conversation on the doorstep led to them having a 3 month pop-up at their pub during summer.
In November during the next UK lockdown, they continued their DIY pizza kits in addition to takeaway pizzas and burgers from the Prince Arthur pub in Windsor, and finally got the trailer out again for a drive-through takeaway service outside the Stirrups hotel in Bracknell.
"Jonathan, did someone say... beer?"
"It's nearly 4, so yeah I'll have one!"
We’re dead excited to work with Jonathan on these boxes, and hope you enjoy the pizzas as much as we do – and, he’s let us know that at the moment he’s just launched a contest to design Rolling Dough’s new pizza box, with £400 in prizes available (this runs until the end of April, so check out further details on their social media).
The kits in these Phantom & Friends boxes include everything you need to make one of their brilliant pizzas at home in under 15 minutes, using only an oven and a frying pan.
We hope you all enjoy the brilliant work of these two businesses as much as we do – it’s so much fun getting to put together these at-home experiences for our customers, and for us to kick back and relax with these goodies after a week working in the Brewhouse!
We can only hope it won’t be long until we are able to go and enjoy the work of independent companies like these with our friends in the industry once again.