January just might be renamed ‘Ginuary' in Henley-on-Thames, thanks to a brand new event created by two of the town's best-known names. The first ever Henley Gin Trail will be running throughout the month, in a partnership between Brakspear, whose 10 town centre pubs are staging the trail, and locally-distilled Mr Hobbs Gin.
The Gin Trail follows the format of the successful Brakspear Ale Trail, which has been completed by close to 1,500 people this year. To take part, customers simply pick up a collector card and get it stamped every time they buy a gin in one of the participating pubs. Once they have six stamps, they can claim a free Mr Hobbs Gin & Tonic from the Bull on Bell Street, and go into a prize draw to win a Mr Hobbs gift.
Each pub on the Trail is offering a different signature gin during January, so ‘trailers' will be able to taste a variety of gins, mixers and garnishes by taking part. Serves to tempt the taste buds include Mr Hobbs Gin & Indian or Mediterranean tonic and a curl of orange peel at the Angel on the Bridge; Pinkster Gin with tonic, raspberries and mint, at the Bull on Bell Street, and Warner Edwards Rhubarb Gin at the Station House.
Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said, "Hobbs of Henley and Brakspear are two great Henley institutions, both with centuries-old roots in the town and a loyal following locally. This strong position allows us to innovate and create this new, first-ever Henley Gin Trail.
"Many people make January a time to experiment and try something new, so we're confident that the chance to sample 10 different gin serves over the month will appeal. We hope the Gin Trail follows the success of our Ale Trail and becomes a Henley tradition, popular among local residents and also bringing people from miles around into the town."
Hobbs of Henley managing director Jonathan Hobbs said, "We are really pleased to be working in collaboration with Brakspear to promote the appreciation of quality gins in Henley. Mr Hobbs - Henley's first highly spirited gin - will now be sampled in the town's best pubs for the first time since launching last May, and I am looking forward to celebrating Ginuary on the Gin Trail!"
Hobbs of Henley operates the largest fleet of boats on the Thames offering customers many ways to ‘mess about on the river', from small rowing boats to luxury river cruisers. Mr Hobbs Gin was launched by Jonathan and Suzy Hobbs in May 2017. A premium gin, Mr Hobbs is distilled in limited quantities to maintain its high quality and special refreshing properties. It is made to the recipe created by Hobbs of Henley founder Harry Hobbs nearly 150 years ago.
The Gin Trail runs throughout January. As a responsible drinks retailer, Brakspear advises customers to take their time completing it.