Ginposium 2019

The 6th annual Gin Industry Seminar

By the gin industry, for the gin industry

Some of the world’s most respected personalities and experts from the drinks and gin trade came together to discuss the state of the gin industry and share their knowledge and expertise on all things gin, in the sixth annual Gin Guild organised Ginposium event.

The 2019 Ginposium (the Gin Guild gin industry annual conference, held on June 7th), was once again an informative day for members of the gin trade, with attendees from international brands to small two man concerns, mixer producers, bottle suppliers, marketing and design consultants, botanical suppliers and others from the industry.

Watch the 2019 presentations from Ginposium online now:

“The Ginposium was a perfect blend of content – from professional advice to thought provoking new products.”

“A very successful Ginposium covering a wide variety of subjects. All good speakers and many complementary comments heard during the final network session”

“A very successful Ginposium covering a wide variety of subjects. All good speakers and many complementary comments heard during the final network session”

Ginposium included a panel session on the much-debated topic de jour “Innovation in gin (e.g. low abv, fruit, pink/orange etc.) is good for the category and will take it to the next level, or it is blurring the lines of what gin is for consumers?”.

The view was that there were products that were blurring what was gin and that there were some that needed to be better explained to consumers in order that they can compare like for like and not just be led by price.

Technical and professional content was also covered with an innovative and well tested sensory training service, reflecting the key importance of ensuring use of a quality base spirit when making a quality gin, as well as a very informative legal birds eye coverage of key issues from a major international law firm, on protecting brand and Intellectual Property rights.

A informative session from the Portman Group covered the rules and regulations for marketing in the UK and avoiding complaints and breaches. Innovation and the effect of new products driving copycat imitators and the damage caused to the industry by some entrants jumping on gin bandwagon with an eye only on short term objectives was a powerful message, as was the session celebrating the longevity of the iconic brand Gordon’s, which celebrates it 250th birthday this year.

The event closed with a splendidly humorous, irreverent and very lively review of the Australian gin scene once again aided by some exemplar products from down under, followed by a networking session over gin and mixer serves provided by the new Suntory mixer brand Merchant’s Hearts who showcased their range of a range of seven spirit enhancers, designed to bring out the great flavours in premium spirits – enhancing, not masking the carefully crafted botanicals and flavours.

As ever the Gin Guild will ensure that the quality content is made available to the widest possible audience and that it remains accessible, as part of its mission to educate and inform the industry, media and beyond, by having the event professionally filmed and then placing the edited content on this website.

For films of previous events and more

Timings, speakers & details of this Gin event:

RSA HOUSE, 8 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6EZ

Download the presentation resources below:

09.2009.30Opening remarks and the Gin Guild.Ed PilkingtonThe Gin Guild
Grand Rectifier of the Gin Guild
09.3010.00A leaf out of your book
Developments in the botanical trade and how, in an expanding market and with variable climate conditions, one deals with quality control.
Tommy HaughtonBeacon Commodities Ltd
10.0010.20Bottling it
Glass innovation – Bespoke or off the shelf, decoration, size and the design process. Design trends and innovation. Brand penetration, line extensions and scalability.
Nolan KaneAllied Glass
10.2010.40Dark satanic stills?
What today are the ‘stills traditionally used for gin? How does your still design affect your gin?
Dr Anne BrockBombay Sapphire DistilleryMaster Distiller
10.4011.15Coffee and networking
11.1511.35Growing pains
Dead kings, grotesque gins and mighty big explosion. The journey from kitchen to micro distillery. A guide for distillery startups.
Ben Marston,Puddingstone Distillery
11.3512.05Tutored gin tasting
What’s new for 2019? The world of gin is a fast-paced environment with constant innovation and there have been many new releases since last year’s Ginposium. This session looks at some of the more interesting new releases, as well as gin trends on which to keep an eye.
David T Smith
Spirit Author and Gin Judge
12.0512.45Panel Discussion: Look to the future now.
Crystal ball gazing for gin. e.g.; Peak gin? Peak Brand? Pushing the flavour envelope? Gin ‘liqueurs’? etc.
Chairman: Ed Pilkington
12.4513.05Structuring Sensory Practices for Excellence in Gin Quality and Innovation
Regardless of style, neutrality of base spirit in Gin is extremely important. Off-notes from impurities and/or contamination cause adverse effect on aroma & flavour profile, consistency and stability and influence the sensory quality of final products. The presentation will highlight importance of sensory training and proficiency validation by practising retro-nasal tasting using safe-to-taste GMP Pharma-compliant flavour references for sustained quality and consumer satisfaction.
Evelyne CanterranneFlavorActiVFlavorActiV are the world leader in beverage sensory for tasting panels and analytical instruments.
13.0514.00Lunch and networking
Protecting your brand & IP against look-a-likes and infringers
Ciara CullenRPC
14.2014.45Innovation and Educators clear the path for imitators and disrupters Tom WarnerWarner's Distillery
14.4515.15Gordon’s Gin: 250 years young
2019 is the 250th anniversary for Tanqueray Gordon & Co’s iconic gin. Notes on its recipe for success.
Terry Fraser, Master Distiller and

Joanne McKerchar, Senior Archivist
DiageoFounder members of the Gin Guild Owners of Gordon's and Tanqueray brands
15.1515.50Tea and networking
15.5016.20Striking the balance between creativity and compliance
With increasing numbers of complaints about small and independent gins, it is more important than ever to stay on the right side of the Codes. The Portman Group will give a guide to navigating the rules and regulations for alcohol marketing in the UK. They will show how to access the free Advisory Service and Guidance Notes, which can help producers be less likely to be subject to an upheld complaint – leaving them free to distil great gins and grow their companies.
Alistair Taylor
Compliance Manager
The Portman GroupThe Portman Group are the self-regulatory body for the alcohol industry in the UK. Since inception more than 25 years ago, it has set high standards for the naming, packaging and promotion of alcoholic drinks.
16.2016.50Ripsnorter - The gin view from Australia
Stuart GregorFour Pillars Distillery
16.5018:30Gin & Tonic and networking
A selection of gin and mixer options presented by Merchant's Heart mixers

Merchant's Heart make spirit enhancers. Every flavour in the collection is designed to complement premium spirits, and to elevate drink-making and drinking to a whole new level of enjoyment.
 Merchant's Heart make spirit enhancers. Every flavour in the collection is designed to complement premium spirits, and to elevate drink-making and drinking to a whole new level of enjoyment.

Find out more about the Gin Guild:

Gin Specification

The Guild only recognises gin styles produced by distilling ethyl alcohol in stills traditionally used for gin, in the presence of juniper berries and other botanicals – provided that the juniper taste is predominant.

About the Gin Guild

The Guild operates as a limited company, with the board of directors being appointed by the Worshipful Company Of Distillers, who hold the shares, and include brand owners, master distillers, associated industry representatives and those with wide gin industry experience.

The titular head of the Guild is the Grand Rectifier. The four largest distilling companies are represented by Founder Wardens. Other gin distillers are represented by Warden Rectifiers. Individual Guild members are known as Rectifiers.

Gin Guild Membership

Membership is open to all (subject to gin distillers and brand owners meeting the Gin Guild Gin specification).

Applications for membership of the Guild should be addressed to the Gin Guild Director General (see contact details).


Benefits of Gin Guild Membership

Networking & events

A key benefit of Guild membership is the opportunity to network. The Guild has at least two formal functions a year, at which Guild installations take place. Both offer exceptional hospitality and opportunities for key guests to be invited.

The Spring Installation is combined with the Gin Industry Annual Dinner. Our Autumn Gin Guild Installation event is the more formal of our two installations. It is held at The Mansion House, in the heart of the City of London. Members and their guests are also invited to join our parent company, the Worshipful Company of Distillers, at their Annual Banquet, which follows the Guild Installation.

Guild events offer a quality and worthwhile entertaining programme and support to Guild members, alongside participation in other events (including those of our own creation), to a wider audience.

Prestige and Recognition

Join and be an active member in an organisation supported by many of the world’s leading gin brands, their distillers and colleagues, and celebrate and promote excellence in the distillation and promotion of gin.


We provide opportunities, especially for smaller members, to have their products made available to a wider and focused market.

Industry Events

The Guild organises and hosts one of the highlights of the year, the annual Ginposium. This is a one-day trade and industry conference, with many cutting edge seminars on gin topics, from production to marketing. Open to trade, industry, distilling students, and others interested in the subject, these events have been a great success. See film footage of previous events on our website.


The Guild sponsors key gin awards within the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC). These include the London Dry Gin of the Year and the Distilled Contemporary Gin of the Year.

The Gin Guild Website

The Guild website is an active resource, promoting events, lectures and member companies and brands. There is a members only section.


The significant growth in the number of distilleries producing gins means that there are now a growing and often confusing number of gin styles and tastes to navigate.

The Gin Guild, in consultation with over sixty brands, launched (copyright and Trade Mark), for use by brands.  Gin-Note™ is intended to be a simple flavour indicator of a gin. It is not intended to replace a brands own label but is intended to be a navigational aid. Gin Guild brands listed to date with Gin-Note entries:

Category Protection

The Guild, working in conjunction with Trading Standards (with whom a Primary Authority partnership exists via Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards), also has a material role in enforcement and protection of the category. It calls out and seeks correction by beverage brands who claim their products are ‘gin’, but which do not comply with the EU/UK regulations which cover spirit production and sale.

The Guild, in connection with the above, by way of assistance and clarification has already published two key guidance notes interpreting the above regulations. These provide information on how to label no and low alcohol products which emulate (but which are not gin), and gin liqueurs. This guidance is known as Approved Guidance and is formally issued by our Primary Authority partnership, and approved by DEFRA.