Festival business eyes Scots growth

There is demand for more Scottish gin events, says UK firm

A COMPANY specialising in hosting gin festivals is eying further events in Scotland after a successful festival in Glasgow.

• The recent Glasgow festival attracted 2450 gin fans to Merchant City venue The Briggait.

Gin Festival Ltd was founded by husband and wife team Jym and Marie Harris in 2012.
The company, which now employs around 60 people and will this year host 38 gin festivals across the UK, held events at Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange in 2015 and 2016.

The Glasgow event, held at The Briggait in the Merchant City, welcomed 2450 gin fans between March 3 and March 5, when attendees had the chance to sample around 100 gins – including a range from Scottish distilleries. Modelled after a beer festival, Gin Festival events see visitors presented with a Spanish-style gin goblet glass on arrival, and they can exchange tokens for drinks at one of four different bars.

Five gin brands had featured areas at the Glasgow event, where activities included sampling and masterclasses:  Poetic License, Brockmans and Tinker from England; Black Tomato from the Netherlands; and Makar from Scotland.
There were also food stalls and live music performances.
Speaking to SLTN after the Glasgow event, Gin Festival’s Tom Grummett said there is currently “a huge passion for gin in Scotland”.

“I think there’s definitely the passion from people, who are becoming more gin savvy, and you’re noticing more and more [gins] in the bars,” he said.
“Just last week I was sent a gin from Jura, Lussa gin, which is fantastic, and another from an island just west of Islay.
“So there’s some great gins being produced [in Scotland].
“Eden Mill do a great range; Rock Rose; obviously the famous Hendrick’s.
“So there’s so many gins in the country that people have been able to go and try the local ones in their local bars and think ‘this is good stuff. I should try some other ones now’.

“There’s no shortage of interest from the Scottish people in their gins, which is great to see.”
And the company’s Scottish expansion is unlikely to stop at the central belt, said Grummett.
“We’re definitely considering other venues and events, and the word’s been bandied around about heading further north,” he said.
“It’s just seeing where the best places are. But there’s definitely the market for it.”