Ever had the thought that some drinks shows are bland trestle table infested affairs? Well, it seems to have been on a few minds lately as unbeknown to each other, 6 producers have approached us over the past two months all asking the same questions. What did we, Gin Foundry, think of said shows and could we host one to act as an antithesis? The answer is always more shades of grey than black and white.
For us, the verdict on what constitutes a good show is still out and, in fairness, there are as many good ones as there are bad ones. It’s true that some drinks shows are as dull as dishwater, with event staff manning the stands and pouring whatever is needed with the joy and passion of a recently neutered cat. We’ve been to a few in our time and asked simple questions about the contents of our glass, only to be told that they didn’t know. We’re not even talking about geeky stuff either – we’ve stumped people with “where is this made?” on numerous occasions.
There are those that aren’t even a “show”, more just a well-stocked shelf in a bar and an A4 sign at the entrance that says “festival/show /generic city trade gathering”. It’s lead us to believe that most of them must be a front for a secret yet powerful organisation of unionists, intent on homogenising everything with the sole aim to dishearten enthusiasts with misinformation, banality and boredom in order to make a quick buck.
On the other hand, lets not dismiss the idea entirely – believe us we we say there are excellent ones out there. We are talking about those where the teams that create the spirit actually man each stand, passionately selling their wares. There are events with music and others can be found with intimate, fully developed bars. Not to mention, carefully choreographed masterclasses hosted by some of the trade’s finest – Alice Lascelles chairing a series of talks and Q&A’s at Imbibe Live comes to mind as a great example of this.
Another good example is The Whisky Show, that brings in the absolute best brands from all around the world and whilst the standardised all-white stands are a little boring, it is far outweighed by the diversity on offer (don’t forget the fact that for three days – it’s the only place to be if you like whisky). There are great events out there, we have enjoyed going to them and look forward to visiting again this year.
So, coming back to the second question – could we do something in the name of gin? We were first asked to put a similar kind of event on in 2012, but refused. There are good shows out there and at the time we weren’t in a position to do better nor, more importantly, to do something different.
With more requests flying in from around the world for us to do a giant sized event – yes flattery does get you everywhere – we’re taking the plunge…
Having produced a whopping 106 events in 2 years, we’ve amassed both enough experience and understanding to do something truly unique. It’s bold to say this and we’ll be sure to buy a stepladder to get over ourselves at the end of this post, but seriously – take a look HERE if you want to see the kind of things we do during the “day” job. We like pushing the limits, and are very fortunate to work with partners and brands that feel the same way.
We are now in a position to produce an event that really stands out. Not the “it’s a one-of-a-kind show” only to find those bloody trestle tables again – no. This will be an all out event that takes drinks shows to somewhere they have never been before.
So here it goes… We’re taking over Factory 7, Shoreditch, from 6th – 8th June 2014 and host Junipalooza.
With fun, immersive installations that combine botanicals, industrial warehousing, music and gin to create a unique experience, Junipalooza is set to be the UK’s biggest ever event dedicated to gin. We will build a physical manifestation of our website – full of content, and hopefully, the only place to be if you love gin.
Biggest how you ask? (Yes, we are also skeptical when the words first and biggest come about…). “Biggest” by the amount of people attending – well over 1,000. “Biggest” by the number of gins present – hosted by the very teams that produce them – over 40 gins available to try and dozens more to buy. “Biggest” by the fact that there will need to be 3 bars, as well as the stands, hosted by some of the UK’s best bartenders. We can go on… but you catch our drift.
Junipalooza has been designed to celebrate the continued rise of the gin category and the diversity now on offer. We’re taking all the elements we love from all the shows, both food and drink, and assembling them into one space. Enthusiasts can even try their hands at making their own gin!
While each producer will be sampling and selling their gin, we’ve also got a series of masterclasses, including Botanical Odyssey and An Anthology of Gin, taking place throughout the weekend. To boot, Drinks by the Dram shop will be there too, where over 60 different gins will be available to buy in 30ml sample-sized bottles. Perfect for exploring new gins at home or for joining in the festivities on World Gin Day the following week.
We’ll be sure to post the very latest about Junipalooza over the next few months but for now – please share this link with anyone you think may be interested, sign up to the database to get in on the action ahead of everyone else and get ready to rumble… EARLY BIRD tickets go on sale next week!
(Spaces will be limited to 20 per session)
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