Membership of The Gin Guild has reached an all-time high of more than 450 members, with a record 43 new members taking their oath before the annual gin industry dinner at London’s historic Guildhall.
New members from the USA, Estonia, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Italy, France, Netherlands and Ireland joined nearly 30 new members from distilleries and brands in the UK as the international influence of the gin industry body grows.
Three new members from Australia and New Zealand, from Four Pillars Gin and Elemental Distillers, are also waiting to join the Guild, but were unable to be in London to take their oath.
Celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Spring installation and annual dinner since The Gin Guild was founded in 2012, the organisation’s Grand Rectifier, Lesley Gracie from Hendrick’s, said:
“The Gin Guild membership is truly global and has grown to reflect the diverse, vibrant nature of our industry and gin-loving consumers.”
Guild Director General Pal Gleed said:
“When the Guild was created, never in their wildest dreams did the 14 founding members expect membership to reach 450.
“As the gin revolution has touched countries across all five continents and the major distilling and exporting companies have been joined by thousands of smaller, innovative craft distillers, the importance and reach of the Guild has continued to grow.
“We have become a truly international organisation, committed to sharing good practice and tackling challenges together, and we have developed our role from a promoter of the category to a protector.”
Award-winning spirits writers, comedians, presenters and podcasters Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham, known as the ‘Thinking Drinkers’, were guest speakers at the event.
“It was a great honour and a lot of fun to be the Gin Guild’s guest speakers – especially on its tenth anniversary after a decade during which gin sales have soared so spectacularly. It was a brilliant evening, a lovely crowd and wonderful to feel part of a global gin scene in fine fettle.”
On the evening Guild Chairman Christopher Hayman celebrated the achievements of first 10 years of the Guild, paying tribute to the supporters and contributors of the Guild who have so readily given up their time over the years, including Charles Maxwell of Thames Distillers, Dr Anne Brock of Bombay Sapphire, The Late Christopher Parker for London and Scottish, Jim Long of Starspice Ingredients and former Director General Nicholas Cook, to name but a few.
New Members installed at the ceremony were:
Installed in the rank of Wardens: Sarah McDonald, Global Brand Manager, Caorunn International Beverage; David Boyd-Armstrong, Co-Founder and Head Distiller, Rademon Estate Distillery; John Hall, Founder and Head Distiller, Trevethan Distillery; Christopher Clark, Distiller, Wessex Distillery; Andrew Parsons, Co-Founder, Sky Wave Gin; Steen Lerche-Jensen, Master Distiller and Founder, The Hope Distillery ÖU; Alex Ravenhall, Founder, Columbia Road Gin Makers; Hanna Kaur, Beverage Architect, Liviko AS, Crafters Gin.
Installed as Founder Nominated Rectifiers: Pippa Guy, Tanqueray Gin UK Ambassador, Diageo; Aarti Calvin, Senior Liquid Scientist, Diageo; Lisa First, Director of Innovation R&D – Europe, Africa and Disrupt, Diageo; Elaine Barclay, Sensory & Consumer Guidance Manager, Innovation R&D, Diageo; Steven McNeill, Gin Operator, Hendrick’s Gin.
Installed as Warden Nominated Rectifiers: Alex Aves, Global Brand Director, Gins Brown-Forman; Fabio Mascaretti, Co-Founder, Ginepraio Gin/ Levante Spirits SRL; Patrik Axelsson, Master Distiller, Nordic Distiller AB; Claire Breslin, Assistant Blender, Caorunn International Beverage; Marc Megilley, UK Sales Director, Trevethan Distillery; Chris Jones, Founder and Director, Paragon Brands; Rachel Hicks, Co-Founder, Sky Wave Gin; Mark McCullum, Chief Operating Officer, Jensen’s Gin; Margit Naptal, Production Manager, The Hope Distillery OÜ; Jack Trewhella, Ki No Bi Brand Ambassador – Europe, Kyoto Distillery; Lucy Rinylo, Operations Director, Columbia Road Gin Makers; Marc Ramage, Head of Commercial, Southwestern Distillery.
Installed as Rectifiers: Victor Benito-Ramos, Head Distiller and Global Brand Ambassador, DOJA Gin East Side Distillery; Barbara Grossenbacher, Head Distiller and Creator, Edelwhite Gin; Richard Hudson, Director & Distiller, Mainline Spirit Co; Hendré Barnard, Head Distiller and Production Manager, Jim & Tonic; James Grant, Director and Founder, Copper in the Clouds; Tobias Gorn, Co-Founder & Senior Partner, International Drinks Specialists; Myriam Hendrickx, Master Distiller, Rutte Distillery + De Kuyper Royal Distillers; Patrick Lauber and Tobias Gerschwiler, Co-Founders, GL Spirits Company GmbH (Basilisk Gin); Giulio Amodio, Founder, Seatrus Gin Acqua di Mare; Peter Sceats, Director, El-Bart Gin; Enrique Pena Gonzalez, Founder and Distiller, Vánagandr Destilerías; Dr Garrison Ellam, Arizona Craft Beverage/ Elgin Distillery; Matthew Pauley, Assistant Professor of Distilling, Heriot-Watt University; James Abbott, Master Distiller and Owner, Distillerie Saint Gervais Mont Blanc; Tom Simpson, Co-Founder and Head Distiller, 82O Spirit; Vincent McGovern, Director, Internal Market and Sustainability, spiritsEUROPE, Owen Jenkins, Director of Integration, Union Distillers.
Gin Guild members include senior representatives of the major distillers, as well as those from medium-sized and craft distillers, journalists, sales, marketing and brand advisors, promoters, bar owners and cocktail experts, spirits packaging consultants and professional advisers.
What’s next for the Gin Guild?
The Guild’s next event is the popular annual Ginposium seminar at RSA House in London on 9 June, which brings together some of the world’s most respected gin experts to discuss the state of the industry and share their knowledge and expertise. For more information, see www.ginposium.com