Last year I raved about Junipalooza London and said the one thing the organisers shouldn’t do is make it any bigger. And lo, this year Gin Foundry promised us “better, not bigger”. Better began before you even stepped through the door, with the promise of an extended Newcomer zone, additional experiential zones and also a digitised show guide to help you plan your visit in advance. And the doors have changed too! Gone is the slightly underwhelming entrance opposite a building site on Pennington Street, and instead people were greeted by the tall ships at Tobacco Dock before passing through the bespoke branded archway.
Now celebrating its fifth year, Junipalooza London promised to be bigger and better in 2018 than ever before. And it did not disappoint! With over 70 distilleries, literally hundreds of gins, the inaugural newcomer tasting zone and four experiential rooms, Junipalooza was set to burst out of the confines of the beautiful ground floor of Tobacco Docks.
When so many new gins are launching every month in the UK and further afield, how do we bloggers and enthusiasts keep up? I like to keep a close eye on Instagram and Twitter where I share my finds with a #newginalert, while gin festivals are also a great way to not only hear about new releases but taste them too. I can still walk into a bar or pub and spot a gin that I’ve yet to try, but it’s pretty rare that I’ll never even have heard of it before. But that was how I first came across Inshriach Gin, and that was just the beginning of this serendipitous story.
The world of gin is a fast-paced one and there are few places where that is more evident than at Junipalooza. Last year, I attended as a lucky competition winner and it was that experience that spurred me on to start this blog. This year, I was fortunate enough to be invited back as a “gin-sider”, so to speak. And I’m not the only one: last year Finlay and Eileen Geekie attended as members of the public; this year they were behind the stall of their very own, highly acclaimed, Colonsay Gin.
I know it’s only October, but if you’ve got kids (as I do) they’re probably already writing their Christmas lists and what better way to get through the nagging than planning a few festive treats for yourself and your gin-loving friends? But why wait until the big day when you can start celebrating on December 1st with one of these amazing advent calendars!