New charity sought as beneciary
The date for this year Sloe Gin World Championships has been set for Sunday 15th December. The popular annual competition is held at The George Inn in the Sussex village of Frant, near Tunbridge Wells.
This, the 10th Championship, which has traditionally donated proceeds to MS Society which supports people with Multiple Sclerosis, is looking to find a new charity partner.
The MS Society has been chosen by default when an impromptu tasting of home-made sloe gin in one of the competition’s early days, was offered to pub customers, in exchange for a donation. An MS Society collection jar had been conveniently at hand on the bar.
Pub regular, ‘Merlot’ Mike Matthews, has been a long-term victim of MS. Sadly, Mike (70) died peacefully at home in an arm chair in September last year, shortly after making his final batch of sloe gin just a few days before.
Pub goer and reigning Sloe Gin World Champion, George Shaw, who lives in Frant said: “With ‘Merlot’ Mike’s passing we decided it was time to adopt another charity. We’ve always struggled to get the MS Society to help promote the event, despite the vast amount of publicity it attracts. We raised £2,000 last year and they didn’t even want to come to the pub to collect the money.”
Former MS Society patron JK Rowling, whose mother died aged 45 from multiple sclerosis, stepped down from the charity, flowing reports on internal wranglings.
“Ideally, we’d like to partner with a national charity with a strong local presence. Perhaps one that could help organise similar regional events, across the country a week or two before – then sending the local winners forward to the World Championships,” added Shaw.
Charites willing to participate can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last year London-based Mother’s Ruin, scooped the top prize in the commercial category, with local Anno Distillery of Marden in Kent, being awarded the silver medal.
There were also notable entries from The Lakes Sloe Gin in Cumbria, Devine Vineyards in British Columbia in Canada, Raisthorpe Manor Fine Foods of Malton, in North Yorkshire, Addingham Fruit Liqueurs in West Yorkshire, and Demijohn from Edinburgh, who were all Highly Commended.
The event began when pub locals began arguing over the perfect sloe gin recipe. Dating back to around 1750, The George Inn, a traditional country pub with cosy log fires, is said to make an ideal setting to judge the most traditional of Christmas liqueurs.
Homemade entries, accompanied by a completed entry form, may be submitted on the day by 1:00pm. Judging begins at 3:00pm. The deadline for entries to this year’s Sloe Gin World Championships is 12:00 noon on the day of the event – for postal entries which have preregistered. Online registration closes at 6:00pm on 11th December.
Commericial entries cost £30 and private ones £5.
Further information on entering the Sloe Gin World Championships via www.moondown.co.uk