Gin Spin: October
Gin Foundry takes a keen-eyed look at industry news to bring you a snapshot of the best bits the last month has had to offer.
“That’ll be £20, please.”
Holiday firm the Bolsover Cruise Club has released the eye-watering results of a study that shows just how much of a thing Gin has become (which is our polite way of saying ‘how much bars are starting to take the mickey).
According to the study, a G&T comes in at an average of £9.03, a median pulled from a selection of 30 popular holiday destinations. The cheapest city to get a hold of your favourite tipple is Budapest, in Hungary, with a G&T coming in at an average of £2.90. Warsaw, Poland is next at £3.25 a glass and Havana, Cuba is next at £4.50.
In London we average at around £8.82 a glass, but before you start to pack up your belongings for a better life, spare a quick thought for the residents of Reykjavik and Paris, who pay £17.90 and £20.31 respectively. We don’t know about you, but if we’re paying £20 for a G&T, we expect it to walk us back to our hotel and give us a courteous kiss on both cheeks.
How Do You Drink Yours?
Waitrose released its annual Food and Drink Report 2017-18, which pointed towards shoppers placing themselves firmly in the driving seat. People are more flexible, more price savvy and more single minded in their shopping pursuits than ever before and retailers are having to adapt this new, empowered consumer.
Interestingly for us, Gin didn’t receive too much attention in this year’s report. After the excessive chatter surrounding the spirit last year, calm had to descend. There were a couple of tidbits, though: we learn that London drinkers are more likely to stuff their G&T with herbs, that ready to drink cans of Pimms sell by the bucketload during the Isle of Wight Music Festival and that the popularity of the Negroni has “speerheaded the move towards interesting, bitter drinks.”.
Twenty-one distillers have joined forces with the Wine and Spirit Trade Association to write to Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, to address concerns over a proposed increase to spirits duty.
Duties collected from spirits will raise an extra £25m on top of last year if the duty is raised for the second time this year in the November budget, and distillers are arguing that this will harm their small businesses in a big way.
Back in March, spirit duty was increased by inflation at 3.9% and now, just eight months later, the Chancellor is planning to add another 3.4%, bringing in a total extra of 56p duty per bottle for the year.
Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the WSTA, said: “Government is stifling the Gin boom by adding to its already high tax bill this year. British gin is a global phenomenon which is why we are asking the Chancellor why he is penalising what Britain does best? By freezing spirit duty he would be allowing industry to invest, create jobs and grow.”
Keep Your Friends Close…
At the start of the month it was reported that the 1922 Committee, a private members group within the Conservative party, visited the City of London Distillery to make their own gin. The event, a very deliberate attempt at wooing, was hosted by none other than the WSTA.
Anyway, there’s no fear of a Tory Gin heading to stores near you in a hurry – the event was hosted to garner a little government support for the spirits industry (and let’s face it, given it doesn’t appear to have gone too well). While there’ll be a release to mark the centenary of the 1922 Committee forming, it’ll be limited and no doubt given the recent headlines about the parliamentary bar, also kept well under the media radar too…
Hayman’s is on The March…
It’s been a big year for Hayman’s, which is packing up its Essex home to make a move to the big city. It seems the brand is gunning for a bigger share of the market, too, having just hired in former Tanqueray Brand Ambassador Tim Homewood as its Head of Advocacy.
This is exciting news for fans of the Hayman’s brand, as it demonstrates that they’re striving to carve out more of a corner for themselves in this immensely crowded market.
Last, but definitely not least, we ventured over to Australia to co-host the second edition of Junipalooza Melbourne with Caroline Childerley of The Gin Queen. We witnessed an Australia abuzz with gin! There were so many new brands, so many new fans and some truly fancy footwork from a region that was significantly behind just a couple of years ago.
With teams like Four Pillars pushing out more and more collaborative gins, as well as getting fully involved in the experiential side of things, even dragging their still along to perform a live run on the day – the show was more interactive and geekier than ever. We also noticed a strong trend with brands now starting to veer away from the weird (and sometimes, but not always wonderful) to bring their gins inline with more considered juniper centred profiles. It’s starting to seem as though the makers are not catching up with those in the UK and Europe, but working counterclockwise. They’ll all meet in the same place, no doubt, and take inspiration from each other along the way.
We’re excited to see what happens when Australian gin goes mainstream, as there are some truly great distillers down under and when they’re not stuffing their stills with lemon myrtle and a thousand other bush botanicals, the results are subtle, nuanced brilliance.
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