What made you decide to create Mr. Hobbs Gin?
Hobbs of Henley is our family business and we have just celebrated our 150 year anniversary so a few years ago we decided that we wanted to mark this milestone with something special and remember where it all started. Harry Hobbs was the founder of Hobbs of Henley back in 1870. Harry was a bon viveur and an entrepreneur, he was a publican turned boat builder turned boat hirer and he also had a passion for gin! He was often seen drinking his gin at 11am on his punt on the River Thames in Henley. So we thought what better way to celebrate our family business than to put Harry’s spirit in a bottle and so became Mr Hobbs Henley Gin!
What is the story behind the name?
Mr Hobbs is a nod to all 5 generations of Mr Hobbs that ran/still run the Hobbs of Henley family boating business. It is also a fairly synonymous name with Henley.
What makes Mr. Hobbs Gin different?
Our Mr Hobbs Henley Gin launched in 2017 is different because it is a gin with a great story and Henley’s first gin! This gin is a punchy gin at 45% with a citrusy, refreshing finish.
Our Mr Hobbs 150 Gin is different because according to IWSC it has ‘An intriguing nose that opens up to luscious fruitiness and creamy spice. Appealingly decadent’.
What have been the biggest challenges so far?
I think we can all agree that COVID19 has been our biggest challenge so far – with all the hospitality sector closed and no events taking place for the best part of a year and the on trade being non existent it has obviously dramatically affected sales with us all turning to online and retail. It has also been incredibly challenging as the gin market is saturated so we are often all trying to compete with other gin brands to get listed.
What have been your biggest achievements so far?
On the upside, through all the doom and gloom of lockdowns, we did have some good news! Our Mr Hobbs 150, which was launched at the end of last year, achieved a Silver in the London Spirit Competition, a bronze in IWSC and was a Finalist in The Gin Guide Awards. We were thrilled with these accolades as it is always lovely to get some recognition for your efforts.
How would you describe your gin in 3 words?
What's your favourite way to drink Mr. Hobbs Gin?
For our Mr Hobbs Henley Gin we recommend to serve our gin with plenty of good quality ice, a curl of orange peel and with either Mediterranean Fever Tree tonic or normal Fever Tree tonic and for our Mr Hobbs 150 Gin we recommend serving it with lime and fresh ginger with a premium light tonic.
What are your favourite gins (other than your own of course!)?
I have recently discovered Wither's G1 Gin through The Gin Guide Awards actually and am really enjoying that. We are currently sipping lots of Ramsbury Gin and Winchester Gin but my firm favourite and my go to Gin is Tanqueray Ten, an incredible gin which is hard to beat!
What's next, any exciting plans?
We are in the process of re branding our Mr Hobbs 150 and our liqueurs and giving them a facelift! We are so excited to launch them at the end of July. We have a busy summer of events (at last) and particularly excited about being the Gin sponsor of Henley Festivals Summer Fling this year. So good to be able to get out there again and meet lots of gin lovers again!