Ösel Gin Fest

On July 7, we will hold the first ever gin festival in Estonia, in Saaremaa. Not a Lahhentagge gin festival, but a more general gin festival – we are involved in organising it, but we invite all gin makers to attend.

“The first? Really?” you may ask. Yes, some bars have organised gin tastings in Estonia and have called them festivals, but we will be taking part in organising the first-ever event with actual gin producers attending and bringing their own products with them.

We have found the perfect location for the event – it will take place on the main street of Kuressaare, in the grounds of the hotel Arensburg. During July 7, some 5,000 to 10,000 tourists will pass the venue. We hope that many of them will also step in for a gin or two.

Why in Kuressaare, Saaremaa? It is a 4-hour drive from Tallinn, or a 30-minute flight.

The answer is obvious – and it is partly the same as why we are building Lahhentagge. The massive island is covered with juniper trees.

Junper berries for true Estonian gin

It is the natural resource of the island and use of them has been very limited so far. Yes, we pick the berries and a few other people seem to be picking them too, but that is pretty much it.

Arensburg is a good venue. It has the capability of hosting big concerts on its grounds and has a large parking area just next to it. We will take over the summer stage of its terrace to hold masterclasses.

We are not planning the largest summer festival in Estonia – rather, a meetup for Friends of Gin. There will be a number of Estonian gin producers attending, but the real treat will be gins that are not on sale in Estonia. Hopefully, there will also be some new products that producers will bring out for the first time.

Some friends have asked us if it is silly to invite all our competitors to attend. Surely, they are rivals in some situations? However, artisan producers control just a fraction of the gin market in the region. Raising awareness together of these unique spirits will enable us to multiply the market, not battle over selling a bottle or two of gin.