In November last year we had Juniperlooza, a two-day gin festival along the Yarra. Now a new unrelated gin festival has been announced: Junipalooza at North Melbourne’s Meat Market over two days in October.
The success of November’s event caught the attention of it’s namesake event in London, Junip-a-looza, which has been running since 2012 by UK online gin hub, Gin Foundry.
This year the organisers of Gin Foundry, Olivier and Emile Ward, have partnered with Australia’s Caroline Childerley of The Gin Queen to bring “Junipalooza” to Australia for the first time.
Since announcing the plan to bring Junipalooza from London to Melbourne, Caroline Childerley has fielded requests from some of Australia’s best gin distillers, including Four Pillars, Bass & Flinders, Animus Distillery, Lark Distillery and Melbourne Gin Company to be involved.
There are also a handful of international distillers in the 26-strong line-up, including Spain’s first urban distillery, Santamania; Rogue Society Gin (New Zealand); and Jensen’s (UK).
“It can be quite a solitary existence as a distiller,” Caroline Childerley says.
“Junipalooza is about meeting the makers behind Australia’s best gins, and showcasing the best that Australia and the world has on offer."
Australian gin distillers have gone from strength-to-strength in recent years, receiving prestigious awards and recognition on a world stage. This year Healesville’s Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin won double gold at the World Spirits Competition in San Francisco for the second time. It’s the same award Melbourne’s West Winds Gin won for its The Cutlass gin a few years earlier.
Jeremy Spencer, co-founder of West Winds Gin, says, “Seeing distilleries working together shows that we are coming of age in Australia."
“I think punters are becoming wise and there will be a market correction at some stage. The strong and organised will survive. Look at craft beer, that juice is still flying.”
Jeremy says West Winds will launch its latest gin, The Longsword, at Junipalooza. At 70 per cent alcohol, it’s Australia’s strongest gin to date.
Junipalooza runs from Saturday October 22 to Sunday October 23 from 12pm to 6pm each day at The Meat Market, 3 Blackwood Street, North Melbourne.
Tickets are available now and only provide entry for a one-day session. Book ahead as tickets can’t be purchased at the door.