A bit of a quickie write-up on this one – mostly because it’s the first Gin and Rum Festival we’d been to and it was interesting to note some of the differences to others. Some months ago (Lax, as I said), we headed over to the Gin & Rum Festival in Ipswich. They kindly sent me a couple of free tickets over, but all views are my own and I was planning to buy tickets regardless since there was a group of us. Luckily, the festival in Ipswich coincided with a nerdy board games weekend that we were having with a bunch of friends, so a few hours of gin and rum seemed the perfect excuse to break up the weekend a bit!
Gin & Rum Festival took over some of the assets of the sadly departed “Gin Festival ltd.” and the events follow a similar layout and theme. Your ticket gets you a glass and a festival guide, and then you buy drinks tokens at £5 a pop with as much tonic as you like. If you’re a hardcore gin fan that has had the pleasure to try quite a wide range, you might find the selection a little more limited than some festivals, due to the fact that half the selection is rum. There’s still a great choice though, and if you’re a fan of both drinks you’ve got 45 gins and 45 rums to choose from. Whether it was a conscious decision or not, one thing we noticed is that the atmosphere was much more relaxed than previous festivals, more seating available, and not as jammed wall to wall with people which meant you never had to queue for long at a bar. At the bars, the gins were well stocked, the staff were friendly, and MOST importantly…they didn’t pour the tonic for you. Nothing worse than going to taste gin and having someone drown it before you get a chance.
One thing it was really nice to see is several distillers represented there. Old Bakery was there with their gin and their new to the market rum – already a fan of the gin so wasn’t going to pass up a chance of a cheeky taster. The other face I wasn’t expecting, but was delighted to see was Dan Walsh. If anyone frequented Gin Festival Ltd. and went to any of the Tinker Gin masterclasses, you’ll have come across Dan who was their brand ambassador. After the collapse of Gin Festival ltd. Dan has developed his own gin, Rascal, and it’s cracking if you enjoy a gin with a fruiter edge to it (passion fruit in this case).
Quick write up as a said, but we spent an enjoyable few hours, nice chilled friendly atmosphere, some good stands to visit and a good range at the bars. The food options were a little disappointing, but I appreciate there are limited options when it comes to what you can prepare inside a town hall. Definitely an event that it’s worth getting a bunch of friends together and going to as the vibe was much more enjoying the drinks, rather than drinking to get drunk. A little depressed that the best selling bottle of the day was a revoltingly sweet marshmallow gin… but ah well! Cheers!