Gin has experienced extraordinary growth around the world in recent years. These trends are being reflected in South Africa, where a phenomenal increase in the popularity of craft gin is being experienced.

Driven by the quest for authenticity and provenance, local distillers have crafted their own distinctive South African interpretations of this spirit.

Unique local ingredients such as Karoo botanicals, buchu, rooibos, kalahari truffles, wild dagga, honey bush and devil’s claw have all found their way into original and exciting expressions of this increasingly popular and versatile drink.

Welcome to the SA Craft Gin Awards 2021

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The Competition

The SA Craft Gin Awards are the home of the inaugural South African Craft Gin Awards.

These awards represent the first dedicated competition for South African craft gins, and have been founded to celebrate and promote the finest craft gins distilled in South Africa.

The gins will be judged by a panel of judges who will blind taste to discover the top South African Craft Gins.

Double and gold awards will be awarded to the outstanding gins.

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The Judges

The gins will be judged by a panel of judges who will blind taste to discover the top South African Craft Gins. The judging panel is comprised of a cross section of industry specialists, with an in-depth knowledge of gin and the drinks industry, including the on-trade.

The judging scores will be overseen by an auditor and are certified at the end of the judging process.

Roger-JorgensenRoger Jorgensen

As the original pioneer in the craft spirit industry in South Africa, we are honoured that Roger is chairing the panel of judges for this year’s SA Craft Gin Awards competition. In 1994 he became the first person to open a licenced private distillery in South Africa.  Since then he has become the recognised gin guru and master distiller in SA. He has gone on to consult with countless gins and spirits, produced all over the world. Currently he is involved in the roll out of the super premium gin called Procera African Juniper Gin, distilled in Kenya.

Jean Buckham

All round gin expert and fundi. Founder and owner of The Gin Box, a craft gin club showcasing the very best of SA craft gins. Jean has one of the most experienced gin judging palates in the country. This is her 3rd year of judging in this competition.

Thierry Lubala

Head Barman, mixologist and gin connoisseur at Sansibar at Asara Estate – Africa’s largest gin collection with over 500 varieties. This is Thierry’s second year on the the judging panel for SA Craft Gin. He says of the inaugural gin judging in 2019 “It was my dream job.”

Pamela Ussher-Koen

Pamela Ussher-Koen lives, breaths and  dreams about gin. She is the owner of Africa Infused; a beverage consulting and training company based in Cape Town. Pamela has been working in the South African craft gin industry since 2017. She has dedicated her expertise to training and advising clients on their gin and spirit choices. She was delighted to join the judging panel in 2020.

The Judges

The gins will be judged by a panel of judges who will blind taste to discover the top South African Craft Gins. The judging panel is comprised of a cross section of industry specialists, with an in-depth knowledge of gin and the drinks industry, including the on-trade.

The judging scores will be overseen by an auditor and are certified at the end of the judging process.

Roger-Jorgensen

Roger Jorgensen

As the original pioneer in the craft spirit industry in South Africa, we are honoured that Roger is chairing the panel of judges for this year’s SA Craft Gin Awards competition. In 1994 he became the first person to open a licenced private distillery in South Africa.  Since then he has become the recognised gin guru and master distiller in SA. He has gone on to consult with countless gins and spirits, produced all over the world. Currently he is involved in the roll out of the super premium gin called Procera African Juniper Gin, distilled in Kenya.

Jean Buckham

All round gin expert and fundi. Founder and owner of The Gin Box, a craft gin club showcasing the very best of SA craft gins. Jean has one of the most experienced gin judging palates in the country. This is her 3rd year of judging in this competition.

Thierry Lubala

Head Barman, mixologist and gin connoisseur at Sansibar at Asara Estate – Africa’s largest gin collection with over 500 varieties. This is Thierry’s second year on the the judging panel for SA Craft Gin. He says of the inaugural gin judging in 2019 “It was my dream job.” 

Pamela Ussher-Koen

Pamela Ussher-Koen lives, breaths and  dreams about gin. She is the owner of Africa Infused; a beverage consulting and training company based in Cape Town. Pamela has been working in the South African craft gin industry since 2017. She has dedicated her expertise to training and advising clients on their gin and spirit choices. She was delighted to join the judging panel in 2020.

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How to Enter

Dates for the SA Gin Awards 2021

Download the entry form below.

The cost of entry is R850 per label.

Entries open:
4 March 2021

Entries close:
16 April 2021

Sample bottles (2) to be delivered:
21 & 22 April 2021

Judging:
29 April 2021

Results:
11 May 2021

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