Gin lovers unite for the on-trend tipple's first festival at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth

GIN was the word as Gunwharf Quays opened its first festival dedicated to the on-trend tipple.

Sunday, 15th September 2019, 11:19 am
Molly Butler and Nick Day at the Gin Festival at Gunwharf Quays. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (140919-37)

With samples going from a raft of UK distilleries, including Portsmouth's, at Fort Cumberland, drinkers wasted no time at the event’s second eight-hour session began at midday yesterday. 

Matt Winslade, who went with his wife Suzy, opted for a clotted cream gin from Cornish distillery Wrecking Coast.

'It's got a nice, liquorice taste and it's very strong,' the 44-year-old said.

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Alisha Wellington at the Gin Festival at Gunwharf Quays. Picture: Chris Moorhous (140919-38)

Suzy, 46, who enjoyed an elderflower gin, said: 'This one's really soft and refreshing on a summer's day.’ 

On the day’s lively atmosphere, she added: 'I think the sunny weather’s got a huge amount to do with this and people love gin now because there are so many variations.’

From Friday to Sunday, organisers the Gin Lounge said they were expecting 800 visitors – each spending £10 to get in. 

For Dich Oatley, sales and marketing director at the Portsmouth Distillery, it was a valuable chance to show off the firm’s wares.

Natasha Coote at the Gin Festival at Gunwharf Quays. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (140919-36)

‘Our marketing budget at the end of the day is pouring people tasters and we’ve had lots of people come and try our drinks,' he said. 

‘In terms of bottle sales, this has been a great PR exercise for us so far – and it’s very important for us to be here as the Portsmouth Distillery as it’s the first event at Gunwharf Quays. 

‘It’s only right we support it and show our faces.’ 

Maria Chant, from Whiteley, took advantage of the distillery’s other drinks. 

From left, Wrecking Coast Distillery's Tomas Cisty, Wesley Vali and Hadley Schoeman at the Gin Festival, Gunwharf Quays. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (140919-35)

‘I quite enjoyed the spiced rum,' she said. 

‘I don’t drink an awful lot of gin, I enjoy the occasional one, but it seemed a nice idea to come to a lovely venue and try all the different ones. 

Jeff Clarke, of the Gin Lounge, hailed the ‘beautiful weather’ and thanked ‘wonderful’ people for attending.

The event will continue from midday until 4pm today.