Festivities are set to begin in the new year as Henley-on-Thames gin trail launches in January 2018. It will follow the format of the successful Brakspear Ale Trail – which saw close to 1,500 navigate the pubco and brewer’s 10 town centre pubs.
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 in Oxfordshire.
“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.”
Participants will need to pick up a collector card and get it stamped every time they buy a gin in one of the participating pubs. Six stamps allows them to claim a free Mr Hobbs gin & tonic from the Bull on Bell Street and enter a prize draw to win a gift from the local distiller.
Each pub on the trail will offer a different signature gin meaning that ‘trailers’ will be able to sample a broad variety from Mr Hobbs’ range of gins, mixers and garnishes by taking part.
These 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, Market Place.
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!”
Mr Hobbs Gin was launched by Jonathan and Suzy Hobbs in May 2017. A premium gin, Mr Hobbs is distilled in smaller quantities to maintain its quality. It is made to the recipe created by the founder of Hobbs of Henley – which operates the largest fleet of boats on the Thames – Harry Hobbs almost 150 years ago.