10 years of THE DUKE Gin
On the occasion of our 10th anniversary, our doors were opened on September 15, 2018 to give everyone a look behind the scenes and to celebrate with a celebration for the great last 10 years. From midday onwards, a diverse group of gin fans and curious people gathered in the distillery's courtyard to celebrate together.
Official opening of THE DUKE distillery
At the end of 2016, we moved to the idyllic brick building in Aschheim near Munich in order to realize the vision of a “glass distillery” where everyone is welcome at any time. Since the official opening of our new residence was still pending, this was done immediately on the open day. As befits an opening, speeches were made, glasses were raised to toast and of course the whole thing was accompanied by traditional musical accompaniment.
Founder Max reminisced as he told guests about the beginnings of the distillery and the adventures of the last 10 years. But he also had a lot to say about his vision for the distillery and future plans. At the mention of wanting to open a bar in the building in the near future, the crowd went wild with joy!
Our 5 bars
Of course, what shouldn't be missing at a lavish celebration of a distillery's 10th anniversary is a bar. Since one bar wasn't enough for us, there were five on the open day:
1. The Signature Bar
Two very special drinks were served at this bar: “Herzog Heinrich” was created by Moritz Billina (THE DUKE distillery) especially for our anniversary celebration. “The Bavarian Hero” is the winning drink of our cocktail competition, which was held in the run-up to the 10th anniversary. Congratulations again to Sembo and his team from The Old Jacob Bar in Bonn! The drink is really great!
2. The Classic Bar
When you think of gin drinks, the long drink Gin Tonic is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Of course, a gin and tonic is also something wonderful and extremely popular! This is exactly why the Classics Bar was dedicated to this and other classics, such as Munich Mule (long drink made from gin and ginger ale) and Moscow Mule (long drink made from vodka and ginger ale).
3. The Mix&Match Bar
The guests' creativity was required at the Mix & Match Bar, as everyone could design their very own long drink in three steps. The first step was to choose your favorite spirit: THE DUKE Munich Dry Gin, THE DUKE Wanderlust Gin, THE DUKE Rough Gin and LION's Vodka were available. In the second step, a filler could be selected from our partners Aqua Monaco, MAT Craft Lemonades, Schweppes Premium Filler, Thomas Henry, Fever Tree, 1724 Tonic Water and ORGANICS by Red Bull. Last but not least, you could also garnish your own individual drink.
4. The Schnapsl Bar
At the Schnapsl Bar, those interested had the chance to taste our distillates and liqueurs pure. Yes, you heard right: “Liqueure”! A small fan community has already formed around our “Max and Daniel's Ginger Liqueur”, but there was another surprise on the open day: you could try our new “Schlehen Liqueur” for the first time. Deep red and incredibly fruity! But that was not all!
Oh, what joy it was to present our new “Munich Caraway” to the public for the first time. You can think whatever you want about caraway, but you should definitely try this distillate even if the spice doesn't otherwise make you dance for joy. Apart from the fact that caraway follows a long tradition in Bavarian cuisine, our distillers have managed to develop a wonderfully spicy and at the same time gentle schnapps. Our guests actually managed to sell out the first batch. Thank you for the extremely positive feedback!
5. The bottle wheel
Yes, the bottle wheel! Here we had prepared an even bigger surprise for all guests: the debut of our new bottled drinks! These are not yet available anywhere, neither in stores nor in restaurants. The drinks were developed in cooperation with our friends from Aqua Monaco. There are four varieties; two of them with our THE DUKE Munich Dry Gin and the other two with our LION's Vodka:
THE DUKE Gin & Tonic
THE DUKE Munich Mule
LION's Moscow Mule
LION's Vodka Lemon
We were overjoyed to see how well our new drinks were received by our guests. The feedback was really outstanding! However, we ask for a little patience. Our premixes will be available to buy in our online shop, in the distillery store and hopefully in many stores, but we still need some time to implement them.
In addition to the five bars, we of course had all sorts of exciting things to offer: There were several game stations, a stage for performances by a solo artist and a cover rock band, a cinema bus, cozy seating areas with straw bales and deck chairs, three food stalls and guided tours throughout Distillery.
A look behind the scenes
The highlight for many guests that day was definitely the chance to take a tour of the distillery with our distillers Magic and Andi themselves. The two explained every step of the production of gin and vodka and led the tour groups through our hallowed halls. Anyone who has ever taken a tour with us will know that groups are normally limited to 16 people, but this was definitely not possible on the open day. The rush was so great that our production rooms, which were actually quite large, suddenly seemed tiny. Hats off to our two distillers, who held guided tours from 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and at the end, as at the beginning, gave an insight into their everyday life with an infectious passion for the matter!
Games, fun and excitement
There was a lot to do for the play children among our guests. For example, you could demonstrate your skills by throwing corks or playing chopsticks. The juniper guess was about guessing the number of juniper berries in the bottle as accurately as possible. In the Botanical Smelling Competition you could smell small cotton bags filled with our gin ingredients to guess the botanicals. Of course you could also win something: small 5 cl THE DUKE Munich Dry Gin bottles.
The three local hotels Hotel Schreiberhof, Hotel Schäfflerwirt and Gasthof zur Post were responsible for the culinary catering for our guests and the team. We were treated to Bavarian delicacies all day long. For example, there was schnitzel from straw pig on potato salad, Schupfnudeln with sauerkraut marinated in THE DUKE gin and sour cream or pulled suckling pig with cole slaw in flatbread. Kudos to the chefs and thank you for your support! Our neighbor, the Fontana ice cream parlor, also had very special ice cream flavors on the menu on the day of our event: Gin Raspberry, Gin Tropical, Gin Tonic and Gin Lemon. Since the ice cream was temptingly delicious, it was quite difficult to restrain yourself because it was definitely something special!
What would a festival be without live music? First, Florian Stecher, a Bavarian songwriter with a guitar, created a relaxed atmosphere in the afternoon. In the evening, the cover band “Big Pack Rock” warmed up the visitors with classics from AC/DC, Status Quo and Metallica, as well as the latest from Steel Panther, Foo Fighters and Volbeat. During their performance, the rockiest dreams of young and old were fulfilled.
We have many people to thank for the fact that our 10th anniversary event, the open day, was such a great success. It wasn't just THE DUKE team itself that was enthusiastically involved in the planning, preparations and implementation of the festival. The support from local residents and those traveling far away was also overwhelming. Thank you to everyone who made this day possible!
Thanks also to the numerous visitors who spent this wonderful day with us and celebrated the 10th anniversary of THE DUKE distillery!
Thanks also to Thomas Kiewning for the great photos!
It was a celebration for us!