ESP’s Mikey Clarke has 10 GINteresting facts about the popular drink to celebrate the launch of CAMRA Beer Festival’s very own Gin Bar…
I can’t say I’m surprised that the Peterborough Beer Festival (August 21 -25) will also be serving gin. In the last couple of years, the drink’s suddenly blown up, becoming a ‘trendy’ beverage with new bars dedicated entirely to the spirit opening up across the UK.
Everywhere I look, I’m seeing those large gin glasses. I’m not sure what sparked the recent popularity (and I’m open to your theories) but I love that it’s happened. I’m a huge fan of gin – especially during the summer.
The Beer Fest held a gin stall last year and if you were there yourself, you’ll know how popular it was. Every time I looked, there was a huge queue of people at it. The Forty-Thirst Beer Fest has stepped it up and brought it in-house (sponsored by Fever-Tree) and I’m more than just a little excited about it!
A lot of love has gone into them sourcing 50 gins, which will be on in rotation during the festival (see the menu board below). They have a variety of Old Tom, London Dry, New Western and Flavoured gins (all at least 37.5%). As the Lyme Bay wine is always well received, they have two Lyme Bay gins (a dry and a pink grapefruit). They’ve also sourced some local gins such as Pin Gin (Lincs); Adnams (Sufolk); Blue Monkey (Nottingham); Cambridge Dry and Dr J’s (Cambridge); and Black Shuck (Norfolk).
So, whether you’re new to gin or a seasoned taster, go and find them in the North marquee where their excited GINiusbar team will be happy to recommend a beauty to try. In the meantime, to get you into the spirit (last pun, I promise) here’s some interesting facts…
- It is Holland that is credited as the birthplace of gin.
- However, the classic Gin & Tonic began in India.
- There are more classic cocktails made with gin than with any other spirit.
- Gin is made from the same base ingredient as vodka: neutral spirit. What separates gin from vodka is the inclusion of juniper and other ‘botanicals’.
- Juniper Is Still Picked Wild. The gin industry uses massive amounts of juniper berries. Surprisingly, these little guys are not widely cultivated: They’re usually picked wild by independent workers throughout Europe, and sold via distributors to the gin makers of the world.
- The Gin Act 1736 imposed high taxes on retailers and led to riots in the streets.
- Top 5 Best Selling Gin Brands in the World are:
- Bombay Sapphire
- One man deserves recognition. Desmond Payne is currently the master distiller at Beefeater and has been there for more than 17 years. He formerly held the same position at Plymouth, giving him more experience making fine gin than anyone else.
Peterborough Beer Festival news and updates appear regularly on website www.beer-fest.org.uk