21 November 2023

Let summer begin at the Jervis Bay Gin Festival!

| Lucy Ridge
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People lounging under FeverTree branded umbrellas on a sunny day.

Nothing says warm weather like a G&T. Photo: Supplied, Jervis Bay Gin Festival.

The Huskisson Hotel is heralding in the summer with the Jervis Bay Gin Festival set to take place on 25 November.

The organisers wanted a festival that celebrated the best of food and drinks in the region, but there were already a few beer festivals around. Then they spotted a gap in the market, and decided that a gin festival would suit the start of summer.

This is the second year they’ve run the festival, and events manager Elizabeth Atkinson said they were blown away by how many local businesses wanted to get on board this time around.

“We actually have a waitlist for suppliers and vendors! So we’re already looking to next year for a whole new bunch of gins, food trucks and stallholders,” she told Region.

Ambrosia Distillery branded marquee with queue of customers.

Canberra’s Ambrosia Distillery will again be attending the festival. Photo: Supplied, Jervis Bay Gin Festival.

The impressive festival lineup includes a range of distilleries from around the Shoalhaven region and further afield. Ms Atkinson said that there had been impressive growth of the craft distilling industry in the area, but when the different businesses were far apart it could be difficult for gin connoisseurs to visit them.

“We want to make sure we’re supporting local distilleries, but we also want to bring people from the Southern Highlands, Bowral and Sydney,” she said.

“And a lot of the smaller local distilleries don’t always have a cellar door or tasting room, so this festival gives them the opportunity to really showcase their gins to the customers.”

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The event will also feature a range of food stalls to keep festivalgoers well fed. Burger legends His Boy Elroy will drive their hot pink food truck down from Wollongong for the event, and Vamonos Paella from Sydney will also attend. The Huskisson Hotel will be offering a seafood spread with an oyster bar, featuring Jim Wild’s Oysters.

People attending the festival with dogs.

Dogs are welcome to attend the festival. Photo: Supplied, Jervis Bay Gin Festival.

Live music and entertainment will continue throughout the evening with the genre-fluid, jazzy alt-rock Wollongong band Circadia headlining and South Coast local Ness Young appearing earlier in the day.

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The event will be held in Huskisson Park and will be a family-friendly affair; even four legged friends are welcome, so long as they remain on leash and are well behaved. Kids will enjoy a bouncy castle and face painting while the adults will enjoy the range of beverages on offer.

Three people wearing Jervis Bay Distilling branded shirts pour drinks.

Local ‘new kids on the block’ Jervis Bay Distillery will be at the festival. Photo: Supplied, Jervis Bay Gin Festival.

Non-gin drinkers will also be catered for with beer and wine stalls, although with so many non-traditional gin creations on offer there’s every chance that the sceptics might change their minds.

“Rather than just having the basic dry gin, so many places are doing different flavours now,” Ms Atkinson said.

“People are really thinking outside the box!”

Ms Atkinson said festival organisers were hoping the event would provide a boost for local businesses and encourage patrons to stick around and visit some of the other venues around town after the festival. With a very civilised finishing time of 8 pm there’s plenty of time to kick on, and some great cafes in town for a pick-me-up breakfast.

The Jervis Bay Gin Festival will be held at Huskisson Park, 74 Owen Street Huskisson, right next to the Huskisson Hotel from 12 to 8 pm on Saturday 25 November.
Find out more information and get your tickets via eventbrite.
Follow the Huskisson Hotel on Facebook or Instagram.

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Look, I’m not really going to poohbah this event, as I go to a few of these type of things, but let me let you in on a couple of rorts going on here.
So, you pay to go in which is $27 and a $2.28 booking fee (why and to who??), a single person feed with one meal most likely $22-28 plus, most likely a surcharge to pay with card and of questionable quality and size; remember things are getting smaller and as the food truck thing has got bigger, quality of food has not got better. Maybe in this case you can only pay with card and that’s so the event organiser gets 30% of sales (this is common I’ve spoken to a micro brewery owner I know), and that card fee is anywhere from 13c to 50c per transaction for food drink and everything.
I love Husky, but I always avoid the times when you can expect entitled Sydney people to roll up and the traffic a killer, so I’m not going.
So to you this maybe fine and it’s good that you’ll enjoy yourself, but its always these little things that the rich keep adding to your cost so that they increase the gap between rich and poor.

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