The roving drinks festival marks it’s 3rd year in Birmingham
A last minute check online led to a chance opportunity to secure tickets to the Birmingham leg of the Gin Festival. Returning for the 3rd year in row the festival took up residence in the Custard Factory for the weekend and no doubt packed the crowds in.
At £15 a ticket, first impressions were a little flat but it was either the later gins or a warming of the atmosphere as more people arrived that seemed to improve the mood. Operating simple set price ticket formula, our arrival was met by enthused event staff thrusting giant goblets into our hands along with a drinks pouch and what turned out to be a very useful book detailing all of the gins on offer. With 4 serving stands in operation and a handful of vendors dispensing samples it didn’t take long to circle the venue and scope out the surroundings. With gins split into different categories, finding the desired tipple was easy enough, with a satisfying selection of spirits available each served with the appropriate garnish and paired tonic from sponsors Fever Tree. Making a beeline for the ‘Internationional’ stand, tickets in hand we sampled a variety of new products including those exclusive to the event itself. As it is to be expected at events like this, much of the evening was spent milling around, making small talk with strangers and sampling whatever was on offer. Welcome breaks to the schedule arrived in the form of Masterclasses provided by onsite vendors although they varied significantly in terms of style and engagement with some opting to chat with the audience about the history of a product whereas others treated it as a tasting event and discussed flavour profiles, gave pairing advice and as later sessions progressed- put up with an increasingly inebriated crowd.
Taking the opportunity to pick up a couple of bottles from our tasting session several gins later we grabbed a plate of tapas as a late night snack and headed off home having secured our favourites of the evening- the exceptionally savory Gotik– one of the most notable gins I’ve come across in a long time and Aduro Devil’s Tail which is distilled with bright peppercorns and red chilli peppers.