Welcome back to our Gin News Update… Gosh, has it been a fortnight already?! Here’s the lowdown on the latest events in the gin world…

 

  • UK Gin Exports Could Fill 30 Olympic Swimming Pools

Along with double-decker buses (height or length) and football pitches (area), representing quantities of liquid by Olympic swimming pools is one of the media’s most treasured cliches.  It’s a real mark of status, therefore, that this time-honoured measurement has now been applied to the UK’s gin exports, which have surged to 30 Olympic swimming pools (or 76 million litres, if you want to be boring about it).  

The new figure featured in a stats update revealed by HMRC, which confirmed that the 2018 UK gin export market reached £612 million, up 15% on the previous year and more than double 2012’s figure of £288m. Trebles all round, and no-one mention the B-word!

 

  • Dire Straits On Portobello Road

[Readers sensitive to terrible puns may wish to skip this bit – Ed.]

Former Dire Straits singer/songwriter/guitarist Mark Knopfler’s Walk of Life has brought him Southbound Again to a new project So Far Away from his rockstar roots. The great man’s Latest Trick is a Hand in Hand partnership with Wild West End innovators Portobello Road, according to a Communique received this week.  

Disgracefully, the new gin is not called Portobello Belle: it’s the latest of the distillery’s Local Heroes series of limited editions, and is flavoured with the Portobello Road signature botanicals, plus cucumber peel, lime zest and, er, olive oil. Best of all, the bottle even comes with a red ‘headband’ round the neck like Mr. Knopfler used to wear when he had hair.

Money For Nothing, you might think. But really, Why Worry? It sounds like a Ticket To Heaven and the perfect Heavy Fuel for My Parties with my Brothers In Arms[The rest of this silliness has been cut for reasons of space and exasperation – Ed.]

 

  • Tesco Grasps Norton’s Pinkie

In further celebrity gin tie-up news, Tesco have picked up Graham Norton’s pink gin for its first UK listing.  The gin, produced by busy Irish firm West Cork Distillers, is made with botanicals including rosehip, elderflower and fuschia flowers, and will be priced at £29.

 

  • Lion’s Share of Four Pillars

Australian brewing giant Lion Group has taken a 50% share in fellow Aussie company Four Pillars Gin. The highly regarded Yarra Valley-based craft distillers have nearly doubled in size every year since being founded in 2013 and look set to capitalise on Australia’s expanding gin market with Lion Group’s distribution muscle behind them.

 

  • Sipsmith On Telly

Sipsmith Gin have taken the plunge with a very expensive-looking stop-motion animated advert featuring Mighty Boosh legend Julian Barratt voicing the character of Mr. Swan – an anthropomorphic representation of the distillery’s swan-necked stills, it says here.  The ad was produced by the team who worked on Wes Anderson’s stop-motion films including Isle of Dogs and Fantastic Mr. Fox and will feature on telly, in cinemas and on social media, but if that sounds too much like hard work you can check it out here.

Right, that’s it for this week! Come back soon for more Gin News!