Celebrating World Gin Day

12 June, 2020 by Brydie Allen

World Gin Day is coming up this weekend on June 13. It’s a time to recognise the great things about the spirit – the people, the places, the products and everything they encompass along the way.

The gin category has exploded in recent years, a phenomenon often referred to as the Ginnaisance. Consumer interest is higher than ever and continues to push popularity of the spirit both behind the bar and on the shelf. Add the ever-present trade interest, and World Gin Day is sure to be one to mark this year.

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In Australia, we also have many reasons to celebrate the day through our local producers. As Caroline Childerley, AKA the Gin Queen, discovered, there are over 500 Australian gins available, with producers often championing native ingredients, pushing innovation, and being internationally awarded.

Distillers from across the country will be marking the occasion in differing ways, which you can get involved in yourself, or take inspiration from to hold your own celebrations.

In Victoria, where the on-premise and distillery doors are still quite restricted by COVID-19 guidelines, Anther Distillery will be celebrating virtually. They’re holding a live tasting on the day at 3pm, streamed via Facebook, that will also give an exclusive first peek into the new distillery site in Geelong. Viewers can order a tasting pack from Anther’s website to follow along at home.

Anther’s new distillery was set to open to the public in April, before COVID-19 hit Australia. Since then, they have pivoted the business to produce hand sanitiser, and have also run a home cocktail comp aimed at bringing people together with fun and creativity from afar. Co-founders Dervilla McGowan and Sebastian Reaburn are excited to build on these efforts when pandemic restrictions continue to lift, to boost tourism and the hospitality industry in the local area. Considering all this, World Gin Day gives them lots to celebrate.

“Once restrictions lift we’ll be opening the distillery for tours, cellar doors sales, tastings and events. We are bringing jobs to the area and be part of building the thriving distilling community of Geelong,” McGowan said.

Reaburn added: “We are so happy to be opening our distillery in a neighbourhood rich in the history of distilling. The largest distillery in the southern hemisphere used to be just down the road making Corio Whisky, and it is great to be bringing distillation back to North Geelong.”

Virtual is also the celebration style over at Nip of Courage, who are holding an exclusive World Gin Day zoom party. Unfortunately the ticket deadline has passed, but founder Kathleen Davies and her team have lots of content and products available through their website to help make any day gin day! Gin packs and single products are on their online store here, and interesting info and updates are on their Facebook page.

Archie Rose have also sold out their virtual tasting event on World Gin Day, but have a tasting pack and other single products on their online store. They’ve also created further virtual events for other dates, with info available through their Facebook page. The Archie Rose Sydney bar also announced its reopening doors last week, giving consumers the chance to book in for gin experiences once more.

Another virtual event that has had huge interest (with a guest list of over 1000 and counting!) is the Fever Tree Virtual Gin and Tonic Festival. Due to popular demand, the festival’s G&T pre-purchase packs sold out, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out – the festival is still going to be freely accessible online to those 18 and over on World Gin Day itself.

The festival aims to “highlight the wonderful world of modern gin” through local and international producers, with masterclasses and education from Australian bartenders, distillers, and even Masterchef Australia’s Simon Toohey. Register for access here, or keep up to date on the Fever Tree Facebook page.

Meanwhile, Four Pillars expansion into Sydney from their Victorian home is perfectly timed to celebrate alongside World Gin Day.

Some of the events across this weekend that Four Pillars created to mark the occasion included gin masterclasses with co-founder Stu Gregor and sittings at on-site venue Eileen’s Bar. Almost all events were booked out within 48 hours of announcing them, not just for the weekend, but for the whole of June. So if you do score a place with Four Pillars for World Gin Day, you have even more to celebrate.

One of the silver linings of COVID-19 and so many virtual events also means there is a lot of online content, both in social media videos and direct through producer websites, that can help you celebrate World Gin Day. So even if you miss out on live events or bookings, you can mark the occasion yourself at home.