Virtual Gin Tasting with the Cheese, Gin and Ale Barn!

Gin at Home Goes Down a Treat!

Review by Citylife Director Helen Smith
It’s wonderful to see so many creative ideas and activities taking place in order to bring everyone together ‘virtually’ in these unprecedented times. So when Helen Smith was invited to join a ‘Zoom’ virtual gin tasting evening hosted by The Cheese, Gin & Ale Barn, who are based at the Curborough Countryside Centre, how could she possibly resist?

How does this virtual gin tasting work I hear you ask? Well first things first – you need the gin! I just headed over to the The Cheese, Gin & Ale Barn Facebook page and joined the event, I soon received an email which included the Zoom link and the date and time of the event. Payment was made online so all safe and contactless. You can either chose to collect your pack or get it delivered straight to your door – it really is that simple!

A pack contains one ready-to-drink cocktail and five miniature craft gins, starting with something traditional and working through to something a little bit different to the norm. There’s also a range of mixers to accompany the gin, along with some additional goodies to enjoy during the experience.

The gins I received in my pack were: Goosnargh Gin with tonic; Wyre Forest Gin with tonic; Polo Gin Strawberry and Rose with elderflower tonic; Trevethan Passion Fruit and Orange Blossom with orange tonic and Wildberry Moonshine.

I also received snacks that included: Joe&Seph popcorn; Kernow Bakewell Chocolate; Innkeepers Choice Cheese, savoury crackers; a raspberry meringue…oh…and a gin stirrer!

So 7pm on Friday evening arrives and I’m a little excited and ready to get started – and who wouldn’t be? I follow my link to Zoom and I’m greeted by other like-minded people (for that read gin lovers!) who are all eager to get started too. We get right down to business with our first drink, a Strawberry and Kiwi cocktail that very much hits the spot and provides a nice fruity and summery note to get us all in the mood.

The host, Louise, is fantastic, friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable and in no time we are all sipping, tasting and having fun, with some great facts about each gin provided by Louise along the way.

We decided to rate the gins as we went along, which was a great idea as I now know that my favourite is the Wyre Forest Gin with tonic, from Bewdley, and priced at £39 a bottle and my second favourite is British Polo Gin, from Cheltenham, priced at £38. Made in honour of the 150th anniversary of the first ever polo match in Great Britain, held at the Hurlingham Club in 1869, this gin was sweet, succulent and spectacularly summery. The rich red colour comes directly from the 100% natural strawberry juice that they use to create this delicious gin. Serve with Elderflower and a slice of lime for a quintessentially British tipple.

By the time we get to drink number six we are all  happier, merrier and ever-so-slightly louder – and having even more fun! At the end of the tasting session we all waved a cheery goodbye to our host Louise and to our newly-made gin buddies and the Zoom link was closed down.

I really can’t recommend this evening enough either if you love gin, or if you want to experience it for the first time, and it’s also great, fun and friendly way to discover more about your favourite tipple and all in the comfort of your own home.

The cost is £35 per pack but, if there’s an additional person in the house, or if you wish to upgrade to double gin measures, it’s an extra £10.

If you have ever been in The Cheese, Gin & Ale Barn you will know there are hundreds of different gins to choose from and being able to attend a virtual Zoom evening was a great way to try lots of different gins without spending too much money. A different range of gins are used on each evening event, so you can repeat these evenings more than once.

You can order a whole a whole array of gins, beers, cheeses and tasty treats from their website, or you can call in to the shop where safe social distancing and guidelines are fully in place.

For more information ring Louise and the team on 01543 898485 or email them at: Alternatively visit the shop at Curborough Countryside Centre, Lichfield, WS13 8ES,  find full details online at

June 2020

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