These are interesting times indeed in the gin subscription service market. Of the five services that launched in 2016, Tipple Box and microbarbax have already long since dropped their spirit and gin clubs (although both still offer their original cocktail clubs). And, as Gin Explorer prepare to call time on their miniature subscription service next month, Master of Malt have just announced their brand new Dram Club. Things appear more stable at the full-sized end of the market with Craft Gin Club, launched in January 2015, still going strong. But the competition there is clearly heating up too, especially with One Time Gin preparing to take on everyone else with a variety of bottle sizes when they relaunch later this year.
Perhaps better known as a craft beer subscription service, Flavourly.com have recently added a Gin Discovery box to their line-up and it looks pretty tempting indeed. Unlike all of their competitors, Flavourly offer their subscribers three 200ml bottles of craft gin in addition to mixers and snacks.
Gin is booming. No question. But, apparently, not everyone is obsessed with gin. I know, I was surprised too! But there’s more to it than that. Pay close attention and there are rumours that rum will be the next big thing. Or indeed whisky, which seems more than plausible given the number of gin distilleries that are currently resting on their barrels. And, according to the Drinks Business, vodka is back on the bartenders’ radars too. So there is everything to play for. And they are all playing right into the hands of The Spirit Show who have recently launched The Spirits Society subscription service.
With their first gin distilled on the stroke of midnight on 1st January 2017, One Time Gin launched as the UK’s only limited edition gin subscription club. Yes, there are a growing number of subscription services out there, but One Time Gin genuinely offer something no one else can, by collaborating with a different distillery every month to bring their members a truly limited edition gin that can’t be found anywhere else.
The rise and rise of the gin subscription service has continued unabated in 2017 (as I predicted last year); Flavourly, better known as a craft beer club, are among the latest converts to the many and varied delights of gin. And, following in the footsteps of Craft Gin Club and The Juniper Club, we’ve also seen more companies take on the full-sized gin subscription market with the launch of One Time Gin, The Spirits Society and GIN GIN.
As our enthusiasm for gin soars, so too does the range of gin subscription services on offer. Last year, I reviewed no fewer than five miniature gin services that had been launched in the first half of 2016. And, in the last six months, there has been similar growth in the number of companies offering full-size bottles. But all these services have one thing in common. Yes, they deliver gin to your doorstep but that’s also where they all stop. If you’re not in, your box of ginny delights will, hopefully, be delivered to a trustworthy neighbour or, less ideally, returned to your local sorting office. Until now. Now there is a gin subscription service that will make it through your letterbox. And if, like me, you receive a lot of gin at home, that can only be good news!
2016 has earned itself a pretty damning reputation and, largely, with good reason. But, politics and celebrity deaths aside, it hasn’t been all bad. And for gin it’s been pretty bloody good! Approximately 50 new distilleries opened last year, contributing to a total production of 528 million litres of gin and resulting in sales of over £1billion for the first time. The rise and rise of small-batch craft gin was the theme of the year, but the big story came right at the end, when the founders of the craft gin renaissance, Sipsmith, were sold to Beam Suntory, the world’s third-largest spirits company (and owner of Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Teacher’s and Courvoisier), for a reported £50million. Other significant deals included the sale of Spencerfield Spirit Company, producers of Edinburgh Gin, to Ian Macleod Distillers, and Liverpool Gin to Halewood International, the makers of Lambrini.