At the moment, it seems that the world has an insatiable appetite for gin. In a bid to help quench the thirst, the ADI, in conjunction with The Gin Guild of the UK, conspired to put on America’s first Gin Summit. Hosted within the pleasant surroundings of the Jos. A. Magnus & Co. Distillery in Washington, D.C., the Summit had nearly 100 attendees from all corners of the globe.
The day kicked off with an introduction to distilling in D.C., with distillers from Green Hat Distillery, District Distilling, Republic Restoratives, One Eight Distilling, and, of course, Jos. A. Magnus & Co. Distillery.
The rest of the day consisted of talks on a range of topics: from historical insights from gin and genever historian Philip Duff to more technical subjects. Brad Plummer of Coastal Spirits showed the audience the differences that water sources can make, Dr. Anne Brock of Jensen’s Gin discussed one-shot and multi-shot distilling techniques, and Matt Strickland and the ADI’s own David T. Smith led a tasting on the local juniper varieties of the USA.
Things got a little heated with the debate “When is a gin not a gin?” The discussion panel included award-winning distiller Jon Hillgren of Hernö Gin, who traveled all the way from Sweden to give his views. He was joined by Dan Szor of Cotswold Distillery, Robert Cassell of New Liberty Distillery, Keli Rivers of Whitechapel (San Francisco), and Natasha Bahrami The Gin Girl for a colorful and controversial conversation about the friction between tradition and innovation. The panelists looked for common ground between protecting gin and acknowledging that without innovation it wouldn’t be in its current boom.
The Gin Guild also hosted their first induction ceremony outside of London, welcoming distillers from Black Button Distilling, among others.
The event finished with a Gin & Tonic reception courtesy of Q Drinks, which gave attendees the chance to try some of the gins from the tastings in a long drink and chat all things gin with their fellows.
For those who hadn’t had enough of gin by that point, Gin World D.C.’s Gin Festival was held at One Eight Distilling—a heady collection of more than 50 gins for people to taste and explore.
The event set out to celebrate all things juniper and bring the gin community together, and it certainly did that!