Gin Spin: News round up 16th May
Gin Foundry takes a keen-eyed look at industry news to bring you a snapshot of the most interesting stories of the past two weeks.
New Gin Releases
Several releases have got our juniper senses tingling over the past couple of weeks. Chase has put out an exclusive-to-Selfridges Pink Grapefruit expression with a 40% ABV and a fairly hefty price tag (£47.99 for 70cl). Pink grapefruit is about as on trend as fruit gets, so expect to see slices of it dancing around your G&Ts this summer… What’s less certain is whether this release will replace the distillery’s popular Seville Orange release or sit alongside it, further expanding the Chase portfolio.
Meanwhile, Bullard’s Norwich Dry Gin, based out of the Ten Bells pub near Norwich city centre, was released on the 12th May. The gin is the result of a collaboration between Patrick Fisher of the Redwell Brewery, Russell Evans of Bullard’s, former Norwich Gin Palace manager Craig Allison and head distiller Peter Smith. Collaborations such as this go further to prove our Gin Annual 2016 predictions right – Gypsy & collaborative batches may well be THE 2016 movement and more and more tie-ups are going to happen.
Isle Of Wight Distillery has released ‘HMS Victory,’ a navy strength edition made in partnership with The National Museum of the Royal Navy. There will also be a limited edition of the Navy Strength which aims to capture the taste of the gins that were drunk at sea by officers who served at the Battle of Trafalgar; the gin will be aged in specially commissioned oak barrels using some actual oak from the ship itself. We’re very excited to announce that HMS Victory Gin will be launching at our very own gin festival, Junipalooza on the weekend of the 11th and 12th June, with attendees the first able to put their names down for pre-order on the barrel-aged varieties.
In less liquid-based news, spirits connoisseur Tristan Stephenson has released a must-have book for all gin geeks. The Curious Bartender’s Gin Palace offers readers a captivating tour of the gins and distilleries across the world. The book looks at developments and processes and also features a dozen exemplary cocktail recipes. It’s available from Gin Kiosk and well worth a read. Like most of Tristan’s books to date, expect it to top best seller lists all over the world and deservedly so.
New Distillery Openings
Evidence that gin is still most definitely in comes in the form of several new distilleries; we’ve seen openings and expansions over the past fortnight, with new names coming through and established brands, like Edinburgh Gin making big changes. The north-of-the-border firm has just moved into a new facility that will allow them to quadruple their capacity to 80,000 cases per year.
Bath Gin founder Peter Meacock is set to open a micro-distillery beneath his gin joint, Canary Gin Bar. Bath Gin launched in 2014 and has so far been distilled by Charles Maxwell at London’s Thames Distillers. Meacock’s distillery, funded by a £750,000 RBS investment, will be able to produce 50,000 bottles per month.
North Wales’ first new distillery in 116 years has opened. North Star Distillery was founded by 28-year-old Morris Dancer Matt Rowland, who was inspired after witnessing the growing interest in regional gins whilst touring pubs across the UK. Though tiny (producing just 25 bottles per week) this venture could well be one that grows, as Matt has sought the expertise of some key players – Mark Marmont of 58 Gin and Jamie Baxter of Burleighs. We’re curious to see how this one plays out – it’s always exciting when new makers arrive on the scene but while we’re all for regionality, as we’ve said before: hyper-local only gets you so far.
A special mention goes to the Gin Guild for their 3rd annual seminar, Ginposium, which occurred on the 12th. Some of the UK’s most respected personalities and experts from trade were present to share their knowledge and expertise on all things gin. From design and packaging to fixative compounds – the day’s topics were as varied as the category it discussed. Our highlight of the day’s gin geekery? Charles Maxwell’s talk on the influences of base spirits on gin – a subject we expect to come up more often as increasing amounts of Gin distillers go from grain to glass. Congratulations to Nick Cook and the Gin Guild team for hosting another insightful event that is fast become a must visit in the trade calendar.
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