Making Craft Gin & Spirits in Barcelona
The idea for Corpen began in 2015, when two friends bonded over their shared interest in making cool things — beers and businesses, in particular.
My co-founder, Pablo, and I met as grad students at Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) Barcelona, studying innovation and design thinking. Both of us were avid homebrewers with an entrepreneurial streak. Barcelona’s craft beer scene was just starting to take off, and we initially talked about opening a brewery.
But over the course of several years, we repeatedly applied the five steps of the design thinking process that we learned in our grad program (Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test) to refine a new business idea.
After years of research and recipe development we signed a lease in 2019 on a space in Poblenou, a growing tech and arts neighborhood in Barcelona. In 2021 — after two years of construction, bureaucracy and, you know, a pandemic — we officially opened the doors at Corpen, Barcelona’s first craft distillery.
A Change in Direction
Corpen is named for a naval signal flag that indicates a change in direction.
Before moving to Barcelona, I was an officer in the U.S. Navy for eight years. Flag signals are a very old form of communication that are still used today in navies around the world. When ships are moving together in formation, the lead ship raises the corpen flag to communicate an upcoming change in course to the other ships.
If you’ve spent any time in Barcelona, you know how popular gin and tonics are here. But when we looked around, no one was making craft gin locally. With our distillery, we wanted to create the same kind of personal, welcoming experience that our favorite craft breweries do so well. Bringing this craft ethos to distilling is the change in direction we offer at Corpen.
We welcome you to come and visit our distillery, see how we make our small-batch spirits and, of course, taste whatever we’re working on. No secrets or gimmicks; we just love sharing our passion for making tasty and interesting stuff.
Wherever and whenever you encounter one of our products, we hope it offers that change in direction your day needs.
Brian B. Burgess
Founder & Owner