Sunderland gin fans enjoy first festival in city

The House of Gin is the brainchild of Jamie Collin and John Bagnall who are pictured with UniSpace commercial manager, Mal Robinson (centre.)

The House of Gin is the brainchild of Jamie Collin and John Bagnall who are pictured with UniSpace commercial manager, Mal Robinson (centre.)

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Sunderland gin enthusiasts flocked to the first event in the city dedicated to the trendy tipple.

Crowds gathered at the National Glass Centre on Friday, August 19, as gin specialists The House of Gin hosted Sunderland’s first gin festival.

The House of Gin Festival at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland.

The House of Gin Festival at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland.

The specialists teamed up with UniSpace, the conference and events arm of the University of Sunderland, and Fentimans Tonic for the sold-out weekend event.

Hundreds of drinkers at the packed-out boutique festival had the chance to enjoy some of the 25 specially-selected gins available and had the opportunity to meet the people behind them.

The House of Gin is the brainchild of Jamie Collin and John Bagnall, who’ve racked up ten years’ experience in the drinks and events industry.

Jamie said they created the House of Gin as a boutique event to showcase the finest gins from the UK and around the world and to give gin enthusiasts the chance to speak directly with the distillers to learn about their journey.

The House of Gin Festival at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland.

The House of Gin Festival at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland.

He said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response we have had in Sunderland and we are delighted our sponsor Fentimans Tonic have got on board.

“We sold out in two days which is the reason why we have put on a second event.

“We have had great feedback from people who have said they love the set up.”

Throughout the night guests were able to sample the handcrafted and award winning gins from around the country and were given advice from experts on their perfect serve.

Staff at The House of Gin Festival at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland.

Staff at The House of Gin Festival at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland.

Crowds were also able to purchase bottles of their favourite gins including Elephant, Brockmans and Sir Robin of Locksley, at discounted prices direct from their stands.

UniSpace commercial manager, Mal Robinson, said the university will be looking to hold a range of exciting events, like the gin festival, in the near future.

He said: “It has been great. It is Sunderland’s first gin festival and it is bringing something different to the city.

“The turn-out has been great and people have been coming from outside the area, from places as far as Lincolnshire, as well as from the local area.

The House of Gin Festival at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland.

The House of Gin Festival at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland.

“We are hoping the event will become an annual thing to bring a boost to the area and help put Sunderland on the map.

“We have had good feedback and people have been really impressed with the event, wanting to know the story behind the gins.”

Punters who missed out on the first night have the chance to come along to the second night of the House of Gin festival tomorrow, August 20, at the National Glass Centre, which will run from 6pm to 11pm.

Tokens can be purchased at the event which can then be used at the bar.

Each token costs £5.50 but a card of four tokens can be purchased for £20.

For more information on the event, visit: www.thehouseofgin.co.uk