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Zoom Zoom Magazine Issue 29

“We’re not some nutters in the back of Wales insisting that ‘small is beautiful’,” says Chris Marshall. “There’s quite a few of us.” Indeed, standing in his gleaming little distillery in his branded fleece, the founder of Snowdonia Distillery looks and sounds the business. And he’s right — his fellow craft gin distillers are a rapidly increasing breed, and their industry is booming. Gin has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity. In 2016 alone, sales rose a solid 16 per cent, 40 new gin distilleries opened, the British public drank the equivalent of 1.12 billion G&Ts (up by more than a fifth from just five years ago) and the UK exported nearly £500 million worth of the stuff. Even BBC Radio 4’s The Archers featured a craft gin plotline. We’ve journeyed to spectacular North Wales in a Soul Red Mazda6 to discover more about why artisan gin is experiencing such a renaissance. But our quest began the previous day in West Sussex with a visit to Kew Gardens’ Millennium Seed Bank. It was here that, at the beginning of 2017, the juniper seed — a key (and endangered) ingredient of gin — was successfully catalogued and stored, safeguarding the spirit’s future. ZOOM-ZOOM \29


Zoom Zoom Magazine Issue 29
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