Gin Spin: News Roundup 30th September 2016
Gin Foundry takes a keen-eyed look at industry news to bring you a snapshot of the best bits the last few weeks have had to offer.
Sibling Distillery is a Cheltenham-based gin company with a difference – it was created by the Elliott-Berry siblings at their parents’ micro-brewery, with the base alcohol made onsite. The siblings – two brothers and two sisters – come as something for a surprise to all who meet them, as they are all aged under 25.
The gin is flavoured with progressive and delicious botanicals like vanilla and blueberries and has amassed something of a following in the two years since its launch. To keep up with demand, the distillery has just launched a crowd-funding campaign, hoping to raise the £35,000 needed to help them move into a new site in which they can ferment more, produce more and also begin to deliver tours.
Co-founder Felix Elliott-Berry said: “We’ve set ourselves an all-or-nothing target, where we only get the funds if we reach our goal because we’ve always been an all or nothing business.”
Crowd-funding is not unheard of in the business, having proved successful for many Ginsmiths in the past. Just this year, Pinkster raised £1m (on a £600,000) target via Growthdeck, showing an enthusiasm amongst drinkers and investors to carry on growing the craft sector. Visit Sibling Distillery’s Crowdfunder page HERE.
The liqueur, still a boozy tipple at 30%, is flavoured with bullace plucked from the wild hedgerows of East Anglia and quince. The release follows a successful trial run in the Cambridge area and, due to the scarcity of bullace, will be created as a limited run each season.
This is the first of what the brand hope will be many line extensions, with other fruity variants in the works. Aside from Stephen and the Pinkster team, we think gin as a whole is moving in a very fruity direction indeed for 2017 and suspect that distillers will choose ever-more obscure fruits as the headline act on their spirits and liqueurs. Quince itself seems to be headed for a twirl in the spotlight; this isn’t the first time it’s been done (Ferdinand’s Saar, for example) and it’s definitely not the last – a couple of makers we spoke to at Junipalooza this year also nodded towards the fruit…
SIPSMITH LEMON DRIZZLE GIN
This is the first time that one of Sipsmith’s Sipping Service gins has made it into bottling territory and is, we’d say, a sure sign that the way-paving giants are considering their next steps. Gin is an ever-expanding, ever-changing market, with more and more varieties joining the fold and increasing competition. Innovation is key in keeping people interested in a brand, and it seems that Sipsmith are taking heed of this. With their sipping service revealing 4 new experiments each quarter, even if only a couple of expressions a year prove popular enough for a wider release, there’s potential for their portfolio to expand considerably over the next 18 months…
A year on from their launch, Poetic License Distillery have unveiled a brand new look for their spirits. The hand labelled glass bottles that saw them through their first 12 months in business are gone, replaced by a taller, black bottle that retains a hint of translucence, so bar staff can see when its time to replenish.
This change is a good sign, certainly for distillery owner Mark Hird, who explains: “We’ve had a strong start and have been awarded various accolades over the last year, and we simply can’t keep up with the demand while we are labelling and wrapping by hand.”
Hand wrapping bottles to demonstrate the hands-on, small-batch approach is all well and good when you’re just starting off, but just like with Poetic License’s spirits selling faster than hand-wrapping will allow – doing so can prevent newcomers from fulfilling large orders. They are not the only ones to have gone through this either – Warner Edwards’ move away from copper wrapping each bottle and to a new design was no coincidence…
Pickering’s Gin’s Marcus Pickering and Matt Gammell have teamed up with entrepreneur Chris Thewlis, marketer Dave Mullen and drinks exporter David Moore to form Good Spirits CIC, a venture that will give profits from sales of Ginerosity – apparently the World’s first social enterprise gin – to charities, focusing on those that support young people.
Marcus Pickering said: “Supporting good causes is something that’s very close to our hears, and something we’ve been involved in for many years… For a while we’ve wanted to do something more formal with our gin company. Producing this unique gin is the perfect way to achieve that.”
Gin makers are a generous bunch – Elephant Gin and Graveney Gin are just two who donate a portion of their profits to charity, while earlier this year Indian Sun Premium Gin was released, with half of its profits going to the Born Free Foundation. As far as trends go, charity is one we’re happy to see take off and we really hope to see lots of little brands continue down this path.
London Cocktail Week is back for its fourth outing, once again taking over Old Spitalfields Market with its Cocktail Village. Many of the city’s bars have signed up for the festival, meaning those with a Festival Pass will be able to sink some barmy and delicious £5 cocktails across the city.
Some of the gin-related events taking place include a history lesson in Aviation Gin down at The Jones Family Project in Great Eastern Street, a cocktail Masterclass from The Botanist at Blixen and a screening (presented by Fords Gin) of Erick Castro’s craft cocktail documentary, Bartender at Large, at Rich Mix in Shoreditch. One gin cocktail that’s particularly caught our eye is the Sip & Snack from Rustiko. A Monkey 47 Aviation served with a side of garlic chilli shrimp.
Distilleries are also getting involved, too. The City of London Distillery bar is serving up a festival special cocktail, ‘Green Egg ‘n’ Ham,’ featuring COLD gin, pistachio milk, fresh lime juice, egg white, pineapple syrup and a taster of ham, whilst East London Liquor Company is serving the ‘Bramble Sky Diver’ – their Batch 1 Gin, with blackberry soda, vodka and an ice cream float.
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