Juniperlooza, Melbourne’s first gin festival, on the banks of the Yarra

Melburnians got a double dose of vitamin gin this spring. The riverside Juniperlooza festival returned this year, following the not-at-all-confusing, similarly-named-but-totally-different-event Junipalooza. (Not that we are complaining about multiple gin festivals this season!)

Situated on the Yarra river, Pilgrim and Riverland bars played host to Juniperlooza (with an ‘er’).

Juniperlooza gin festival Melbourne

This gin festival suited those seeking mixed drinks and sunshine. The ticket price bought attendees light entertainment (at one point a three piece band decked out in full scuba gear cruised by in flippers) along with talk and tastings sessions. Beyond that, various mixed drinks were available for purchase.

In addition to classic gin & tonics, the brands showed off their creative side with drinks like Lemon Myrtle Collins and Negroni floats.

Juniperlooza gin festival Melbourne

With a focus on drink purchases over chats and samples, this festival appealed to those at the start of their gin journey. Of course, there were also some passionate distillers on hand ready to talk all things botanicals for the gin nerds in the crowd.

Andrew Marks from the Melbourne Gin Company (MGC) produced perfume-like vials to illustrate his individual distillation process. I ended up with a juniper scent dabbed behind my ears at the encounter.

Juniperlooza gin festival Melbourne


Next a chat with the Archie Rose reps inspired us to start plotting a trip to Sydney to visit their distillery. Four Pillars had a few different products on hand including their navy strength (58.8% ABV) and the sweet Bloody Shiraz.

But it was a sneaky sip of the elusive Christmas gin that really captured our attention. Aged in 80-year-old Muscat barrels, this unique beverage captured the essence of rich Christmas pudding. (My plus one immediately set out on a quest to track down a bottle, as it’s already sold out online.)

Juniperlooza gin festival Melbourne

The weather happily cooperated for this outdoor event with one of the first warm weekends this spring, making it a perfect way to celebrate the fun side of gin.

– Jenny
Jenny S. is an event addict. When she’s not attending live shows, you can find her sampling the latest craft beer or sipping a creative cocktail.

For more gin goodness, check out the Juniperlooza on Twitter and Instagram.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Zilla & Brook.
Image credit: Zilla & Brook.