The rise and rise of the gin subscription service has continued unabated in 2017 (as I predicted last year); Flavourly, better known as a craft beer club, are among the latest converts to the many and varied delights of gin. And, following in the footsteps of Craft Gin Club and The Juniper Club, we’ve also seen more companies take on the full-sized gin subscription market with the launch of One Time Gin, The Spirits Society and GIN GIN.
As our enthusiasm for gin soars, so too does the range of gin subscription services on offer. Last year, I reviewed no fewer than five miniature gin services that had been launched in the first half of 2016. And, in the last six months, there has been similar growth in the number of companies offering full-size bottles. But all these services have one thing in common. Yes, they deliver gin to your doorstep but that’s also where they all stop. If you’re not in, your box of ginny delights will, hopefully, be delivered to a trustworthy neighbour or, less ideally, returned to your local sorting office. Until now. Now there is a gin subscription service that will make it through your letterbox. And if, like me, you receive a lot of gin at home, that can only be good news!
2016 has earned itself a pretty damning reputation and, largely, with good reason. But, politics and celebrity deaths aside, it hasn’t been all bad. And for gin it’s been pretty bloody good! Approximately 50 new distilleries opened last year, contributing to a total production of 528 million litres of gin and resulting in sales of over £1billion for the first time. The rise and rise of small-batch craft gin was the theme of the year, but the big story came right at the end, when the founders of the craft gin renaissance, Sipsmith, were sold to Beam Suntory, the world’s third-largest spirits company (and owner of Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Teacher’s and Courvoisier), for a reported £50million. Other significant deals included the sale of Spencerfield Spirit Company, producers of Edinburgh Gin, to Ian Macleod Distillers, and Liverpool Gin to Halewood International, the makers of Lambrini.
With the boom in gin showing no sign of abating, the number of subscription services continues to grow. There is now a wealth of choice in the miniatures market with five companies, including Gin Explorer and Little Gin Box, launching in 2016. Until recently though the Craft Gin Club, launched in January 2015, was the only gin subscription service offering full size bottles delivered to your doorstep. Now The Juniper Club is squaring up to them.
Beer festivals have, seemingly, been around for ever with Oktoberfest, generally recognised as the world’s largest beer festival, originating way back in 1810. Nowadays there’s a festival to cater for all passions, from cheese to chicken wings, but as recently as 2012 there was no festival devoted to gin. Gin lovers, and husband and wife, Jym and Marie Harris decided to change all that and Gin Festival was born.
With new craft distilleries opening every month, and existing distilleries increasing their portfolios, the number of gins on the market is growing exponentially. But how does one keep up with so many new products? How do you decide which one is good enough to invest in and which one isn’t worth your hard-earned pennies? Sometimes when you’re spoilt for choice and short on time it’s just easier to let someone else do the hard work for you. That’s where the Craft Gin Club comes in.