Pair in high spirits over new Snowdonia* gin
NOT even the wind and rain could dampen the spirits of those taking part in this year’s North Wales Walled Towns Trail car run, with 150 entrants taking to the roads in their vintage and classic cars.
The motors, which date back to the early 1900s, travelled from Denbigh to Conwy then on to Beaumaris and finished off at Caernarfon in the annual event which includes cars such as a 1931 Rolls Royce, E-type Jaguars and British Classics from 1924.
Praising the event, Councillor Helen Roberts of Conwy town council said: “We do this yearly if we can and we have roughly 150 cars, vintage and classic, this year. When the event finishes in Caernarfon the different classes of cars are presented with prizes from the four mayors from the different towns.”
ANEW gin is making waves in the booming spirits market. Snowdonia Gin is crafted using water from the mountains of Gwynedd and flavours found on their slopes and valleys.
The recipe was inspired by the wealth of rich local botanicals, such as bark from Welsh oak, and the Denbigh plum, with a Celtic design on the bottle and specially commissioned painting of Snowdon.
But despite its branding, the drink is actually distilled and bottled over the border in Warrington, Cheshire.
The men behind the spirit, Iain Boyd and Mike Trevena said this decision was made to ensure it had a distillery that could provide the quantity and quality they needed.
A spokesman said they had always been clear the distilling and bottling was being done in Warrington.
Iain said: “Sales of Snowdonia gin are promoting and exporting the Snowdonia story and that’s really great.”
“Our goal, as a new small business, is to forge partnerships with other local businesses, especially in retail, tourism and leisure, helping to improve sustainability within the local economy.” The two friends are active outdoor sports enthusiasts from university days whose own love affair with North Wales has grown as they took to the hills to hike and bike Snowdonia’s spectacular scenery over many years.
The pair, both from design and marketing backgrounds, who hit on the idea of the gin as they were walking in the Snowdonia hills.
They say they have spent three years crafting Eryri Snowdonia Gin with the help of specialist spirit distillers, Quintessential Brands.
Iain said: “We were walking in Snowdonia when we came up with the idea and we realised the model was right for us.
“At that time there were only two or three specialist Welsh spirit producers who were creating very unique quality flavours and we also wanted to produce a quality spirit that embraced the rich offerings of the Snowdonia region so we set about researching the botanicals and recipe for a Snowdonia gin.
“We wanted to create a superior product and a business we could be part of, which would be sustainable and reflect this area we both love.
“You could set up a still here in the mountains, using only locally sourced ingredients, but then you might struggle to achieve the consistency of supply and the quality of ingredients, which is key, especially as the business develops.
“The Denbigh plum is a case in point, where this year the harsh cold spring and very dry hot summer has left a severe shortage of plums to harvest.
“That’s what took us to Quintessential who saw the potential of the idea and worked with us. With their team we were able to create and refine the spirit recipe to one that was both sustainable and a really great taste.
“We are very pleased with the final result.
“You never regret buying quality and that’s what we have aimed to create and while it’s been fantastic fun, it’s been deadly serious as well.” MANDY JONES
Mike added: “It’s all about the taste. We have worked very hard over three years to refine the gin - there’s been a lot of tasting, a real labour of love, but the method we have chosen means we can achieve a consistency of flavour and a consistency of quality at every level, especially as we grow.”
Mike Tomlinson, of Caernarfon, brought his 1972 MGB sports car to the Walled Towns Trail Car Run
● Mike Trevena and Iain Boyd, creators of Snowdonia Gin