IT was cheers all round at The Castle at Edgehill’s inaugural Gin Festival last week, which brought together local producers from across the county.
There were plenty of G&T samples on offer as well as live music and food in the gardens on Friday, which overlook the historic Edgehill battlefields.
There was also the opportunity to join guided tours of The Castle’s new micro-distillery and gin school, run by Pinnock Distillery, which opened in the tower earlier this year. It marked an expansion for Kineton’s Dan Beckett whose collaboration with The Castle at Edgehill also celebrates the brands’ shared historical connections.
As well as Pinnock, the range of gins available on the day included Rugby Distillery and Warwickshire Gin Company and Newbold Spirit, both in Leamington.
The Castle sits at a location overlooking the spot where Charles 1st raised the standard at the Battle of Edgehill in 1642 – the first major battle in the English Civil War between the Royalist forces and the Parliamentarian Army commanded by the Earl of Essex. King Charles was the first ruler to tax alcohol in the 1630s when many people took to distilling in their kitchens.
Dan Beckett said: “Despite the weather, we still had a great turn-out, with over 100 people packing-out our inaugural Castle Gin Festival, to come and try some of the best gins from the area. It was also a great opportunity to show people around our fantastic new gin school and distillery at the top of the Castle tower. All in all, it was a fantastic day!”
The venue is one of five under the ownership of The Free Spirit Pub Company founded by Mark Higgs.
Mark said: “It was an honour to welcome four fantastic artisan distilleries to our wonderful gardens, although the weather was against us , the sun came out and there was a fantastic vibe throughout the day, we hope to hold many more gin and music events throughout our venues next year, so this was the start of many new events for Freespirit.”
For more information about The Castle and The Gin School visit here
Visitors to The Castle can choose from a one-hour Pinnock Gin Taster Session or three-hour Gin School (for parties of up to 14 people) in which they’ll learn about the history and provenance of the product and location, before being guided by Dan through the gin-making process using a range of botanicals. As well as enjoying plenty of Gin samples along the way, they will get to take home a 70cl bottle of their own unique recipe, which can also be reordered at the distillery on a later date.