Pair in high spir­its over new Snow­do­nia* gin

Caernarfon Herald - - NEWS -

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

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