Gin Spin: June
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.
Spanish distillery Santamanía launched a crowd funding campaign in June, seeking to raise £400,000 (in return for a 5.41% equity stake). With the money, the team plan to double capacity by adding in another still, to expand awareness by taking on brand ambassadors and to grow international presence.
The Crowdcube campaign smashed through its target within a week, with money still pouring it at the time of writing. This shows a nice faith in the brand, as well as signs that the Gin market is still finding room to expand. You can read the pitch here.
McQueen Gin is getting on the action, too, with Trossach’s Distillery founder Dale McQueen launching a campaign on Crowdfunder to raise £75,000 towards another still, whilst Liquid Spirit Distillery, the chaps behind nginious!, have just relaunched their crowdfunding campaign after getting final approval to build their distillery in Basel. This means – for those who missed it first time round – that there’s one more chance to order a personalised Magnum of Gin… click here to find out more.
Experiential gin drinking continues apace, with Bombay Sapphire inviting drinkers aboard the Laverstoke Express, a bright blue train that ‘transports’ visitors around the world to explore the stories behind the botanicals. The Grand Journey, taking place between the 17th and 23rd July at the Banking Hall in London, is a multi-sensory experience that ‘takes’ guests to the location from which its 10 botanicals are plucked; those on board will quaff Bombay Sapphire cocktails alongside an exquisite dinner prepared by Michelin-star chef Tom Sellers, who will work his food around the flavours within the gin.
We’ve been on many an adventure with Bombay Sapphire and say with confidence that their nights out are second to none. Great food, great cocktails and the company of Gin geeks. What more could you want? Book here: www.thegrandjourney.com.
If trains aren’t for you, Gin fans looking to channel Mediterranean vibes should do what they can to get to Gin Mare’s Med Rooftops, which is taking place again at IET’s Rooftop on the 20th and 21st July. Mediterranean tapas, huge G&Ts, a landscape of cocktails (including the incredibly summery Frozemary) and G&T ice cream will be the order of the day. You need to register for the chance to get tickets – so click through here and get your name down.
Copperhead’s Cocktails & Canapes 2017 competition has been launched. The event invites the most creative of chefs and bartenders to create weird and wonderful interpretations of Copperhead Gin, a theme that plays on founder Yvan Vindevogel’s obsession with food and drink pairing.
The competition has two tasks: 1. Create one palate cleanser using Classic Copperhead and one of the blends. 2. Create a cocktail using either Copperhead Classic or Black Batch with an accompanying canape.
The heats take place on the following dates:
London: 31st July
Birmingham: 1st August
Edinburgh: 14th August
Manchester: 21st August
Shortcross held its second Shortcross Gin Signature Serve competition at its Rademon Estate home at the end of June, which saw twenty-two finalists battling it out to showcase Shortcross in the best light. The winner was Alan Glynn of 37 Dawson Street in Dublin, who created a cracking twist on a Clover Club. Expect a recipe and some of the other serves that caught our attention soon….
There’s more, too… Beefeater MIXLDN 2017 is now open for entries. For this year’s edition, bartenders are being asked to create a new cocktail that best captures the spirit of their home city using either Beefeater Dry or Beefeater 24.
Another Day, Another Japanese Gin
Last month we shared reports of Suntory’s plans to create a Japan-styled gin – Roku (this after its purchase of London-based gin distillery Sipsmith). Now, it’s been reported that Asahi Breweries will be releasing its own take on the spirit in September.
Coffey Gin (named for the still) will be made by Nikka Whisky Distilling Co and includes sansho, yuzu and – of course – juniper amongst the line-up. Signs already seem to be pointing towards a citrus forward spirit, so we’re keen for its release. Coffey Gin will reach Europe and North America in late September.
It seems we should expect an influx… no sooner was Coffey announced, another Japanese emerged. Kuro Dry Gin, created by Craig Fell and John Thomson and made at Langley Distillery is a slickly packaged product inspired by a holiday to the Japanese Alps. The gin features silver birch bark, spruce needles and bamboo activated charcoal, so is a decidedly more earthy take on the country.
We wonder – if Japan is a trend – whether Diageo will start to place higher prominence on their (quite excellent) Jinzu Gin…
Brew Dog stayed true to its words of reconciliation with Birmingham pub The Wolf this month, when – via its spirit producing arm, Lone Wolf – it created a personalised batch of gin for the boozer. The relationship got off to a rocky start when Lone Wolf Spirits landed (all guns blazing) earlier this year, with their “trigger-happy” lawyers issuing threats to businesses they believed to be encroaching upon their copyright.
Understandably, fans were horrified to see the brand they’ve long embraced for its punk attitude come over all corporate (and it struck a particularly hum drum note when one remembers that the founders have been on the other side of this coin, having changed their names to Elvis so that they could release a namesake beer without falling foul of the Presley estate), and with the on-trade starting to scowl at the treatment of The Wolf (formerly The Lone Wolf), Brew Dog backed down, apologising for the behaviour of their law firm and promising the pub free cases of their vodka and gin.
This month they went big on that promise, inviting The Wolf owners Joshua and Sallie McFayden to their distillery in Ellon, Scotland to work together on a new gin – Wolf Pack. Head Distiller Steven Kersley explained: “At Lone Wolf we’re rewriting the rule book of distilling, so it felt right to do the same when it came to resolving our differences… It just goes to show that good can be born from rocky beginnings. Wolf Pack gin is a union of ideas that carries all the hallmarks of collaboration and openness.”
As far as we’re concerned, the spirit of Brew Dog lives on.
Nice to Meet You
Junipalooza took place over the World Gin Day weekend in early June, with over fifty distillers descending upon Tobacco Dock in East London to share their spirits. There were a lot of incredible gins in the room, but the most notable new expressions came from Poetic License with their new rairity – Cherry and Basil, Southwestern Distillery with Tarquin’s Yeghes Da, Adnams with their brand new gin in a tin, Pothecary’s Sicilian edition and the Ngroni from Nginious! Just when you think gin has no more surprises to offer, it brings the goods…
News came through about a six week gin festival running out of Heathrow Airport from the 1st July, which is celebrating the spirit’s success within the duty free world. As part of this, Heathrow – teaming up with Chase Distillery – is launching its very own Heathrow Exclusive GB Gin.
Buried within the press release were some very interesting statistics regarding sales of the spirit: namely, that gin sales at the airport increased by a considerable 36% in 2016, with around 700 bottles per day being sold. Americans and Canadians are amongst the top buyers of the 250,000 bottles per annum being purchased from World of Duty Free, with the top five gins sold being Hendrick’s, Tanqueray No.10, Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire and Sipsmith London Dry.
We don’t just take ‘science’ news stories surrounding Gin with a pinch of salt, we go for an entire ocean’s worth. Still, we can’t help but get our hopes up sometimes. We saw the news that Gin could ‘soothe’ hayfever being bandied about and jumped into the rabbit hole… Let’s just say it’s best you get your antihistamine tablets out of the bin. Gin is one of the least offensive alcohol to hayfever sufferers due to a lack of sulphites, but saying gin soothes hayfever is akin to saying ‘not smoking is better for you than smoking.’ It has no damaging effects, sure, but it isn’t a miracle fix.
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