After two years of virtual sessions, experts from across the gin industry celebrated getting together again for The Gin Guild’s information-packed networking event, Ginposium.
Held at RSA House in London for the first time since June 2019, the event saw long-established and new gin industry representatives from across the UK mingling with distillers and producers from Australia, India, Estonia, Slovenia and Sicily. Three Past Masters were in attendance: Christopher Hayman, Charles Maxwell (who also spoke) and Martin Riley.
Speakers focused on key business aspects of gin production from investment to using Artificial Intelligence; understanding legal constraints to health and safety – combined with opportunities to taste the latest innovative gins on the market.
The annual Ginposium is an industry highlight, which ties in with World Gin Day on 11 June and the Junipalooza festival to put gin centre stage.
Speakers included Rachel Sutherland from Warner’s Distillery, Kathy Caton from Brighton Gin, Ben Marston from Puddingstone Distillery, as well as Past master of the WCD, Charles Maxwell on the benefits of contracting-out distilling.
With the Guild’s increasing role in protecting the gin category, Jo Cook, from Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards, gave a vital run-through of the do’s and don’ts of labelling and marketing gin, including gin liqueurs and branding low and no alcohol drinks.
Chris Pitcher, another liveryman, and financial analyst from investment research company Redburn (Europe) Ltd, discussed Ginvestment – exploring post-pandemic recovery, evolving consumer trends and challenges facing the gin industry.
He highlighted how gin had fared better than many spirits during the on-trade closures of the pandemic and rebounded more quickly, with worldwide gin consumption in 2021 9% above pre-pandemic levels.
A returning highlight of the Ginposium was a tasting of new gins, led by gin specialist and spirits writer David T Smith of Summerfruitcup.