The Wakefield Gin Experience

WAKEFIELD’S Festival of Rhubarb will kick off with a twist on Friday February 23rd as local gin and rum blender, Dave Owens, launches the first ever Gin Experience.

Visitors to the city’s unique food festival are more used to food and cookery demonstrations in the central marquee, but this year they will be able to sample some unique drinks curated by the man who has brought gin blending back to the city.

Dave, who is the chair of Wakefield Business Improvement District (BID) and manager of the Beer Exchange recently launched Nightingale’s Gin a celebration of the heritage of Wakefield and its links to gin production

A careful blend of mulberry and rhubarb, both locally grown ingredients, Nightingale’s Gin is named after the last bird that Lord Charles Waterton heard before his death and also contains cocoa essence, a nod to the chocolate producing background of Wakefield.

Although made in small runs of 30 bottles a time, he has consistently sold out and is now supplying local bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants as well as selling to gin devotees across the bar at the Beer Exchange.

To celebrate the link with rhubarb he is hosting a pop up Gin Experience and invited independent blenders from across Yorkshire to demonstrate how the traditional English drink complements one of Yorkshire’s favourite foods.

Dave, Wakefield’s first ever registered gin distiller sold out of the tickets within 20 minutes attracting people who have never been to the Rhubarb Festival before.  Nightingale’s Gin will be joined in the ticket only marquee by:

  • Leeds Gin
  • Folklore Distillery
  • Gindivine
  • Kokoro Gin
  • Harewood Food & Drink Project
  • Jacqson
  • Nightingale’s Gin
  • True North Brew Co (Sheffield Gin)
  • clover gin (courtesy of our friends at Bier Huis)
  • Double Dutch Drinks (providing tonic and mixer drinks)

Ticket holders will be given a bespoke gin tasting glass and bag allowing them to sample all the gins, some of which have never been released to the public, sample complementary food and have the chance to buy special size bottles of all the gins.

Vegan drinks will be available thanks to Vintoto who will be showcasing their vegan wine and British nibbles will be provided by The Cur Charcuterie to keep hunger at bay.

This quirky celebration of Britain’s favourite spirit will be situated in a cosy heated marquee with an exclusive gin and tonic pop up bar starting at 6pm until 10pm.

“The Wakefield Rhubarb Festival is the perfect time to showcase what Yorkshire’s distillers have to offer thanks to the success the festival brings into the city year after year.  With gin proving to be increasingly popular, it’s also time to bring something different and unique to the festival, giving visitors something that hasn’t been done before,” said Dave.

“It was absolutely key that I kept the Gin Experience local.  Each of these gins are very individual and people behind the brands will be there to talk guests through them.  Our visitors will have the chance to really see and taste the personality behind the brands and sample homegrown produce,” Dave said.

“With plenty of much loved Yorkshire ingredients such as rhubarb and liquorice helping to create different blends, ticket holders can expect a completely unique experience.”