A West Dorset distillery has scooped two major awards for its spirits and start-up success.

Modern Art Distillery, based out of Lyme Regis, has won The Gin Guide’s contemporary category for its London Dry Gin and has been named as the South West Rural StartUp in the 2024 South West StartUp Awards.

The company was launched by Caroline Harrison and Catharine Russell in 2023, with a unique concept of commissioning emerging artists to design the artwork for its gin, rum and vodka bottle labels.

Catharine said: “We’re absolutely delighted to win these two prestigious awards. We’ve only just celebrated our first anniversary and it’s flattering and very encouraging to be recognised in this way so early on.”

Now in its eighth year, the Gin Guide Awards celebrate the historic, diverse and growing worldwide gin industry.

Hundreds of gins from more than 35 countries took part in the award, with winners selected through a rigorous blind tasting process conducted by distinguished gin experts, distillers, buyers and mixologists.

Head judge Paul Jackson, founder and editor of The Gin Guide, said: “The quality and diversity of gins has been absolutely remarkable.

"Being a winner in The Gin Guide Awards has become one of the most revered achievements in the industry and a long list of previous winners have used their success to take their businesses to the next level.”

READ: Modern Art Distillery up for regional awards

The UK StartUp Awards were established to highlight the success of start-ups across the UK, including the south west region, and to celebrate the achievements of entrepreneurs in all sectors of the economy.

The awards are supported by a range of high profile UK companies, including Starling Bank, Development Bank of Wales, GS1 UK, Join Talent and ScoreApp.

Harriet Rees, CIO at Starling Bank, said: “Turning an idea into a successful business takes a lot of courage and dedication.

"Congratulations to Modern Art Distillery on winning their category in the south west.”

As a regional winner in their category, Modern Art Distillery will now progress to the UK StartUp Awards final being held at Ideas Fest on September 12th, dubbed ‘the Glastonbury for Entrepreneurs’.

Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE, creator of the StartUp Awards, added: “It’s been an honour and a pleasure to read the stories of those founders who have spotted the opportunity and taken the risk to launch their own venture.

“All of the winners in the south west have demonstrated that they deserve to win their categories and I’m looking forward to having the ‘best of the best’ from the region competing at the UK final later this year.”