After two years of virtual meetings, 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, 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.
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.
Gin Guild Director General Pal Gleed said:
“After a tough two years impacted by Covid-19, there was a real sense of joy among veteran and new participants about being able to meet together and share knowledge and experience.
“There is a real willingness and generosity within the gin industry to support new producers and a recognition that the innovation and excitement that keeps bringing new consumers to the category benefits us all.”
Keynote speakers included representatives from Warner’s Distillery, Thames Distillers, Brighton Gin and Puddingstone Distillery, as well as a presentation from Craig Harper about the development of premium mixer, Fever-Tree.
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, a 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 nine per cent above pre-pandemic levels.
His data analysis based on the very latest research published by the IWSR demonstrated the role of flavoured gins has had on the growth of the Total UK spirits market share and in maintaining the buzz and vibrancy of the category. He also highlighted gin’s wide-ranging success in conquering export markets in South America, Africa and Australia, as well as European growth in new destinations such as Turkey.
David Pool, from Smarter.ai, who works with academics at the University of Oxford, talked about distilling data from artificial intelligence. Previously the domain of global tech companies, David argued that gin producers can utilise advanced AI techniques to better understand their customers, control costs and increase sales more effectively.
Liam Matthews, from the Health & Safety Consultancy, spoke about how to operate a gin distillery safely, while Matthew Pauley, from Heriot Watt University discussed Gin Guild sponsored research about the identification of specific markers for juniper vital for better understanding the sensory performance of gin.
A returning highlight of the Ginposium was a tasting of new gins, led by gin specialist and spirits writer David T Smith of Summerfruitcup.
All presentations were recorded and will be available to Gin Guild members at www.theginguild.com shortly.
The Gin Guild’s next event will be its Autumn Installation at the historic Mansion House in London on 14 October, with more than 20 prospective new members already booked in to be installed into The Guild. The event will be followed by the Annual Banquet hosted by The Worshipful Company of Distillers, the Guild’s parent company.