Who the hell are those guys?
by JAY B
The Ginfest team are a group of GIN lovers, experts, drinkers, buyers and sellers – and above all, Gin Festival organisers.
We all come from different backgrounds, ages, and countries. Male and female. Spanish, Irish, English and a Brazilian thrown in for good luck.
But we all have TWO things in common;
We all love GIN! We all love Spain!
Luckily for us, Spain loves gin too!
What is a Gin Festival?
For us, it is a celebration of gin. One of the most enduring alcoholic drinks ever invented.
It is where gin lovers meet gin makers. Where gin buyers meet gin sellers. Where gin drinkers meet new gins. Where gin meets tonic meets cocktail.
It´s fun. It´s a party. It´s about being glad to be alive….with your friends….with a gin and tonic in your hand.
Why Gin Festivals in Spain?
Again, we have been been to gin festivals in the UK and loved them.
We know that Spain imports more UK gin than any other country in the EU and is the second largest importer in the world of British and Irish gin, after the U.S.
And we know Spain.
This is our home. It´s where we know. It´s where we love. Spain, and in particular, Andalucia.
We have seen first hand the way Spain have (in our humble opinion) changed the game with regards to how gin is served.
Some of the GinFest team have been in Andalucia since the early 2000´s. And we have all seen the way gin has become so much more popular since 2005 here in Andalucia.
Innovative, clever, stylish barmen started to serve gins in wine glasses. We started to see different garnishes used. I remember the first time I saw pink grapefruit being used in a gin and tonic, served in a 250ml wine glass. It was a great, modern thinking city centre place called Bar Dylan in Granada, in 2006. And I thought, I like this! This is a game changer!
And from there, I noticed in bars in Barca, Marbella, Granada, and Sevilla, a real shift in the number of gins on offer and the care taken to serve them right. Or break rules and serve them like they have never been served before.
Spain was hooked on gin.
In Granada from around 2010, a whole street was transformed and the new bars and restaurants there were filling up with a crowd of drinkers thirsty for gin, fusion food, and a modern feel.
And I saw that back in the UK, in towns big and small, the odd bar was starting to serve gin in a more interesting, innovative way than the old slice of (not very fresh) lemon and a lump of ice (if you were lucky).
From then on, more places started to serve gin in new ways, taking the Spanish flair and making it their own. Gin was back! Not only that, new gins were being brought out from small, artisan, innovative producers. Bringing honesty, a story to tell and new botanicals to their gins.
I saw that the industry was being revolutionised.
And in 2013. I then went to the first gin festival. And I thought, now thats a good idea!
Where next for Gin Festivals?…..oh I know!
Living in Andalucia, and being all based in Granada, a city my team all adore. It seemed obvious that we could put the various elements together, Our love of gin, our love of gin festivals and our love and knowledge of Andalucia.
Bring gin to the gin loving Spanish public I thought. Let´s do it!
How were we going to do it?
Gin festivals work on many levels for all involved.
Gin producers get to meet the public and showcase their gins. They get to tell the gin loving attendees, about their story, their methods, their gins and the way they make them.
Gin lovers get to meet their gin making heroes! As well as spend a day drinking gins they love or have never tasted before. We all love a good backstory and its fun to hear about the ups and downs and the mishaps and trials of people who make the gin we love to drink.
Gin producers get their gins into the hands of new customers, either the public, or buyers in the hospitality trade. They are showcasing their gins to sell them after all!
Gin buyers get to taste new gins, get prices and availability, form new, strong relations with suppliers and enhance their own businesses by offering new products to their customers.
Gin festival organisers get the benefit of putting all this together and having that feeling of satisfaction of putting all of these people and elements in the same room.
And the end of the day, it´s all about the gin right!
Logistically, there are barriers. Commercially, there are complications. Culturally, there are differences.
But since when has that ever stopped us!
Granada was obviously our choice for the first Gin Festival of Andalucia. It´s where we live, where we love and where we know. It is also one of the best cities in Europe!
It needed to be big, stylish and well known. We settled on the Palacio de Congresos. Most cities have one of these. They are the city exhibition centre, the place where events are staged. Some are better than others. Some are very formal looking and a bit stuffy. But Granada´s venue is different, with its rooftop ampitheatre looking out over the city, an open air music license until 3am, and down below one of the best terrace spaces we have seen out side of Ibiza! It was a no brainer!
Obviously actual gin producers attending the event is essential. We have some signed up.
BUT WE ALWAYS WANT MORE!
Are you a gin producer? Do you want to showcase your lovely gin to the thirsty Spanish gin loving public? Want to meet buyers, distributors and other good contacts? Then get in touch. Spain will love your gin.
And from that could grow a very real export opportunity. Making gin is great fun. Selling the gin you make is even more fun, right?!
Get in touch with our team and we´ll take you through the sign up options and get you and your gins out to Spain. To Granada, Gin city!
Every venture needs support and backing. And this being something new, especially so.
We are delighted to say that we have formed some key partnerships to make this event, truly a historic one for the city and a gateway to more events like it around Andalucia and then Spain.
The Palacio de Congresos themselves are being invaluable in their expertise in event hosting and management.
Coca Cola have been great and are one of two main sponsers of the event. Their tonic brands, Nordic Mist and Seagrams will be on full show and complimenting the many gins on offer.
The Ayuntiamento de Granada, we are thrilled to have backing for this event. They see it as something original, something fun and with what is planned on the night of the event, something potentially very good for Granada!
Several local businesses have already signed up for sponsoring various elements of the whole event.
BUT WE ALWAYS WANT MORE! Are you a bar, restaurant, hotel owner? Or an alcohol wholesaler or distributor? Or a local business? Want to be part of the biggest Gin Event ever held in Granada?
And be part of a World Record making team???!!
Yes, that´s right. We have been given official permission to attempt the World Record for the LARGEST GIN TASTING EVENT in HISTORY!