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Gary Law temp byline 2021

Meet the Heston Blumenthal of drinks distillers

Gary Law


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A bottle of Ric's Irish Apple Rum

A bottle of Ric's Irish Apple Rum

Stephen Hamilton

Ric outside The Woodlab Distillery

Ric outside The Woodlab Distillery

Stephen Hamilton

Ric Dyer of Woodlab Distillery

Ric Dyer of Woodlab Distillery

Stephen Hamilton

Ric is now a gin-maker responsible for the novel Symphonia range of spirits

Ric is now a gin-maker responsible for the novel Symphonia range of spirits

Stephen Hamilton

Ric Dyer of Woodlab Distillery

Ric Dyer of Woodlab Distillery

Stephen Hamilton

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A bottle of Ric's Irish Apple Rum

For most of his working life, Ric Dyer spent long days in a white lab coat trying to combat some of the world’s most dangerous viruses. In that pre-Covid era, his main adversaries were HIV and influenza, both implacable killers of millions of people. His job, as part of a huge research team, was to create from scratch the molecules that would lead to drugs and therapies that would save countless lives.

It’s tempting to think of creativity as the sole preserve of the artistic community, but creativity was at the very heart of what Ric was doing in his laboratory. Molecules, most of them invisible to the naked eye, are formed by bonding one or more atoms together a water molecule, for example, is made up of hydrogen bonded with oxygen — and what Ric was doing was joining various elements together in a unique sequence to make something totally brand new. “We were making molecules that had never been made before,” he recalls. “It was infinitely complex work.”


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