Stirling’s biggest-ever Gin Festival is launched this week with three tasting sessions planned for the 2017 event.
Tickets go on sale this Friday (March 10) for the fourth annual Festival which has expanded following sell-out 2016 tastings which won praise for boosting the city’s economy.
An extra session has been added to this year’s Stirling Gin Festival which takes place in early November at the city’s Highland Hotel.
The popular two-day event is organised by Bridge of Allan couple June and Cameron McCann who are co-founders of Stirling Whisky Shop.
June said: “Ever since last year’s Gin Festival closed its doors, we’ve had people asking us when the next one is taking place and when the tickets will be going on sale.
“Everyone had a fantastic time and we had over 700 gin-lovers across the two sessions who had the chance to hear about lots of different gins and sample up to 50 brands from 22 companies.
“We generally sell out of tickets within days of them going on sale so we decided to run an extra session this year – with three tastings instead of two – which will give more people the chance to come along.
“The response to the Festival has been fantastic and we’ve delighted by the success of the event which has got better every year since we started it in 2014.”
The 2017 Stirling Gin Festival runs from Friday November 3 to Saturday November 4 with one session on the Friday evening and two on the Saturday covering the afternoon and evening.
A variety of different gins, including flavoured versions, will be featured at the Festival from well-known brands such as Edinburgh Gin, Brockmans, Porters, Eden Mill and Pickerings.
There will also be samples to try from some of the emerging newer companies including award-winning Stirling Gin, Avva Scottish Gin which was launched last year by Moray Distillery and Lussa Gin made from local botanicals on the Isle of Jura.
Last year’s Gin Festival was commended by Stirling’s Provost Mike Robbins for attracting a host of tourists and visitors from across the UK and further afield to the city.
He said: “The Stirling Gin Festival is a fantastic attraction which brings people into the city and provides something a bit different.
“It was great to see Stirling people mixing with visitors from all over Scotland and England and I even met some real enthusiasts who had travelled from the USA and Canada.
“The Festival proved a real boost to the local economy because, not only do you have visitors coming in for the day, but many also stay overnight which is a real benefit for our hotels and other businesses.”
The first Stirling Gin Festival was held in November 2014 and since then the event has gone from strength to strength gradually attracting more gin companies and increasing the numbers of those attending.
Tickets for the 2017 Festival cost £27.50 per session and will be available online from Friday
The price includes as many gins as a festival-goers wants to sample plus Fever Tree Tonic to accompany their drinks.
June adds: “Come along and enjoy a fun day with a wide variety of gins available all under one roof.
“From the feedback we get, these are great sessions which people really enjoy so if you like gin why not give it a try.”
Stirling Whisky Shop also organises monthly gin and whisky clubs and an annual Whisky Festival which takes place on Saturday May 6 at Stirling’s Highland Hotel.