New Year Resolutions can be about trying something new rather than giving something up, as Henley residents have proved with their enthusiastic response to the ‘Ginuary’ campaign which runs in the town until 31st January.
The Gin Trail is a partnership between Brakspear pubs and locally-distilled Mr Hobbs Gin, and has been running since 1st January. To take part, customers pick up a collector card and get it stamped every time they buy a gin in one of the 10 participating pubs. Once they have six stamps, they can claim a free Mr Hobbs Gin & Tonic from the Bull on Bell Street, and go into a prize draw to win a Mr Hobbs gift.
Ten Brakspear pubs are taking part, each serving a signature gin and tonic, giving the ‘trailers’ the chance to taste something new. Serves 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 Bombay Sapphire with tonic and lime at the Saracen’s Head.
Melanie Roberson, licensee at the Saracen’s Head, said, “The Gin Trail has definitely raised gin’s profile in the pub; everyone’s talking about it and our sales have gone through the roof. Our signature Bombay Sapphire is served in beautiful glasses, so it looks just as good as it tastes.
“We’ve also had interest in local Mr Hobbs Gin and in Silent Pool, which customers have tried elsewhere on the Gin Trail, so we’re going to start selling both of those. It’s definitely been a great January business-booster.”
The 10 pubs on the Gin Trail are: The Anchor, Angel on the Bridge, Bull on Bell Street, Little Angel, Old Bell, Row Barge, Saracen’s Head, Station House, Three Horseshoes and Three Tuns. The Gin Trail is an addition, not a replacement, to the popular Henley Ale Trail, which is running as usual.
Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said, “January can be a bleak month, but turning it into Ginuary has made it far more interesting for customers in our Henley pubs. The campaign appeals to people’s desire to start the year with something different and we’re delighted with the response.
“Our Ale Trail was completed by 1,500 people last year and we’d love to see the Gin Trail become as popular over time.”
Mr Hobbs Gin was launched by Jonathan and Suzy Hobbs in May 2017. A premium gin, Mr Hobbs is distilled in limited quantities to maintain its high quality and special refreshing properties. It is made to the recipe created by Hobbs of Henley founder Harry Hobbs nearly 150 years ago.
The Gin Trail runs until 31 January. As a responsible drinks retailer, Brakspear advises customers to take their time completing it.
Caption to attached image: happy Gin Trailers Laura Morgan and Yazminn Robinson in the Bull on Bell Street, Henley