Next week, over 24 Ginsmiths from around the world will be making their way to London, bottles and botanicals in tow, to present their wares at Junipalooza 2015. Planes, trains and automobiles will have never seen such quantities of juniper-imbued cargo… Let’s hope they don’t all catch on though – we wouldn’t want baggage handlers and customs officials taking “Angel’s Share” along the way! Given Ginsmiths from both Britain and the rest of the world are descending upon central London making it a truly international affair; perhaps it is apt that Junipalooza 2015 is taking place over World Gin Day.
It’s hard to believe that last year was the inaugural Junipalooza. At the time, many asked about the name – juniper what? Palooza. It’s an Americanism for a party, a celebration or a street fair. The hybrid word is the very essence of what we were trying to create– a carnival of all things that fêtes and promoted juniper. And what a celebration it was. Such was the success it has become a cornerstone of many a calendar ever since. Over 1,150 people attended last year in what has become the benchmark for what a category wide festival could be.
There are other gin based festivals of course and they are great in their own way, but none have broken the format of trestle tables, volume bars and head down sampling with limited interaction with the actual teams behind the brands. None are created with the sole purpose of giving enormous value to ticket holders above and beyond what would be considered appropriate, let alone for guests to have direct access to not just a couple, but dozens of gin makers. Needless to say, none have makers from 7 different countries flying in especially for the occasion, alongside the very best British Gins. Junipalooza takes all these elements and makes them the starting point for what we plan and what we want to bring to life on the 13th and 14th June 2015. To top it all off, it’s happening at The Vinyl Factory in Soho.
Only in its second year – Junipalooza is recognized as the best place to meet the makers. We’re not just tooting our own horn here – have a Google around and see what Time Out, Metro, Evening Standard, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLEUK.com and The Telegraph all had to say about it. It’s not all on us either – what makes it special is that it’s a festival for gin lovers, super geeks and for all those who really want to discover more about Gin. You make it special and your curiosity is what makes everyone love being there and sharing their gin with you.
This year, over two days we will host four three hour sessions. On each day the first session will commence at 12.00pm ending at 3.00pm, the second session will commence at 3.15pm ending at 6.00pm.
We’ve kept the amount of tickets limited per session so that there would be enough space and opportunity to ask questions, get geeky and fully immersed in gin! Each pallet is hosted by the actual teams who make their gin, with full portfolios available to sample. By keeping spaces limited for the sessions, it will allow enough time to see them all but also allow the opportunity to not have endless queues and constant interruptions when sipping on gin and talking shop.
So who are these Ginsmiths? This year, we are proud to say that Warner Edwards, Sipsmith, Hayman’s, Edinburgh, Two Birds, Pinkster, Glasgow Distillery, Southwestern Distillery, Shortcross, Bathtub, Filliers, Rock Rose, Dà Mhìle, Darnley’s View, Adnams, Blackwater, St. George Spirits, New York Distilling Company, F.E.W Spirits, Monkey 47, Ferdinand’s Saar, Elephant, Nginious, Hernö and Santamanía will all be there for your delectation.
We’ve always tried to make Gin Foundry a platform for Ginsmiths to find an audience and visa-versa, for people to discover gins they love. This year for Junipalooza, we’ve focused our attention to ensure that new gins can be launched in the UK as a result of the buzz around Junipalooza itself and the wider Gin Foundry audience. We are excited UK debutants Santamanía and Nginious will be available to sample for the very first time in the UK that weekend, as well as new releases from some of our favourite British distilleries. More on this soon.
We’re also really pleased to be partnering with Fever-Tree once again. Not only does this mean that behind each pallet there will be the very best tonic to lace samples of gin, but also, we’ve been working with them on a little project we hope to launch over the Junipalooza weekend.
So, the actual makers are there, new gins are being launched, some are being imported into the UK especially for the show, the numbers are limited so it’s not shoulder to shoulder drinking… what more could we do to make this veritable gin fest even better? Masterclasses. Better still. Free to attend, super geeky masterclasses co-hosted by our editor, Olivier and some of our favourite master distillers.
There will be two masterclasses per session, each lasting 25 minutes. The first will revolve around the history of the G&T and how to best use a garnish to accentuate flavour profiles, and the second will delve into the role of botanicals in gin as a whole and specifically, the signature flavours of one gin in particular.
Oh, we almost forgot to mention our bar, serving classics as well signature cocktails. Did someone say Martinis on tap…? We’ll also be making sure that we have some of London’s finest barkeeps behind the stick, as well as some guest Ginsmiths and ambassadors shaking up a storm.
As always with Junipalooza, you will have the chance to buy gin direct from the makers. This can be done at their palate as well as from the onsite Gin Foundry Ginporium (for the exact same price), this might be handy should you prefer to do a one-stop shop of few gins which have tantalized your taste buds. We’ll also bring down a whole host of gin related goodies that we’ve been making over the past 6 months so you can get you hands on tasting sets at exclusive show prices as well as our upcoming, and dare we say it, beautiful illustrative guides.
The Saturday sessions are now sold out, however there are spaces still available for both Sunday sessions. At £12.50 a ticket, with a world-class bar and 24 Ginsmiths keen to meet you all – this is an event that offers the very best the hospitality industry can deliver. We look forward to seeing you all there.
You can also grab tickets by heading and downloading the YPlan app.
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