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Gin Spin: News Roundup 25th August 2016

Junipalooza 2016
Written by Gin Foundry

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. 

Kyoto Distillery

Kyoto Distillery has been given the go-ahead to produce Japan’s first gin. The distillery, founded in 2015 by Marcin Miller and David Cross, will release KI NO BI Dry Gin in October this year. The gin has a huge focus on provenance over tradition, taking its base alcohol from rice and its flavour from botanicals like yuzu, bamboo, sansho and gyokuro tea.

This is demonstrative of craft gin’s unwavering global popularity and shows that the trend for artisan spirits is moving East. We expect to see more gins coming out of the luxury Asian market in the next couple of years, as once that first license is granted more tend to follow. Undeniably, Kyoto will lead the way on defining what it means to be a “Japanese Gin” too, so we’re curious to see how adventurous they’ll be and if a style emerges as a result. The idea of a new genre may seem like an exploratory, geeky topic, but who knows… stranger things have happened.

Eden Mill

Fife distiller Eden Mill is set for growth. The company is working with ImpEx Beverages on a US launch and its gin will be shipped to 14 states this month. With this expansion, the distillery hopes to double turnover to £4.5m this year and to £6m in the next financial year. Founder Paul Miller has also said that he expects the staff count of 37 to rise to 45.

The American market has seen something of a gin slump in terms of overall sales (going under the 10 million case mark over the past year), but this demonstrates that the craft market is still very much alive in the region. Moreover, the success of this brand shows a hunger for Scottish spirits and given there’s not enough Scotch to meet demand, drinkers seem to be looking to other categories for drinks of the same provenance.

Junipalooza Melbourne

We’re taking our meet the maker festival to the other side of the world! Hosted alongside Gin Queen Caroline Childerley,  Junipalooza Melbourne will have juniper-crazed makers from all over talking gin fans through their process and history. The distillers, of course, will have plenty of samples on hand as they attempt to harvest a crop of new fans so get those glasses to the ready!

We’re excited to meet the burgeoning figures from the Australian craft scene and to try their wares. Lemon myrtle will abound, undoubtedly, and there are bound to be some strange and brilliant takes on the category. In and amongst the line up we have Four Pillars, the Melbourne Gin Company, Lark Distillery, Archie Rose, Bass & Flinders, etc.

Tickets are already selling rapidly - so if you come from a land down under, now is as good a time as any to get yourself a ticket. Buy here…

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Gordon’s has unveiled a new bottle design for it’s Original, Sloe and Eldeflower gins. The new, taller bottle carries with it a more premium feel, with embossing on the bottle and more emphasis given to the wild boar logo.

The redesign is the first in seventy years and shows that Diageo A. still have faith in the ongoing gin trend and B. are keen to increase sales within it.

Gordon’s is clearly keen to get in on the craft movement, which turns distillers into micro-celebrities and sees people counting the story of a brand as part of the product itself. Nick Moore of Gordon’s Europe said: “With the increasing importance of a brand’s quality and heritage to consumers, we saw an opportunity for Gordon’s to reassert its leadership of the gin category.”

As sales of the leading brands continue to show smaller growth by volume than those within the craft sector, we’re not sure if they are talking about leadership from yesteryear there… but either way, it seems they’re starting to look at the small fish for inspiration, with increased transparency a key talking point. This, along with the new packaging, may well steer Gordon’s away from Granny territory - after all, it’s an enduring classic that has stood the test of time for a reason and a nostalgic tipple to boot, bridging the gap between many generations.