Shrewsbury’s first-ever festival dedicated to cocktails has been declared an outstanding success – with organisers already looking forward to next year.
Shrewsbury Cocktail Week saw venues all over the town centre offering special taster menus, discounts and cocktail-making classes for those who purchased a festival pack.
The event was the brainchild of James Hitchin, of The Alb, and Darren Tomkins, of Gindifferent, supported by Shrewsbury BID, to showcase Shrewsbury’s flourishing cocktail scene.
Darren said more than 200 people bought tickets, with venues reporting a marked increase in customers during the week.
“Considering it was an entirely new event, we are really pleased with how everything went,” he said. “We had a good selection of venues involved, with some innovative and fun cocktails being created especially for the festival, and people really got into the spirit of it.
“Shrewsbury has a fantastic collection of venues, and the cocktail scene is really thriving, so we wanted to celebrate that – and spread the word further afield that the night-time experience here is worth seeking out.”
One of the highlights of the week was a battle of the bartenders – a Ready Steady Cook-style challenge to create a cocktail out of a random selection of ingredients, which was won by Tom Herring of The Alb.
James Hitchin, owner of The Alb and Shrewsbury BID director, said: “The battle of the bartenders was great fun, and clearly highlighted the amazing talent of our cocktail venues.
“The whole aim of the week was to raise the profile of the vibrant scene we have here in Shrewsbury, and I think we achieved that.
“We are now starting to think about next year, when we would like to make it bigger and better, involving even more venues and more elements of the town centre.
“I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped organise the week, particularly Vanessa Fairfax-Wood of Shropshire Trading and the team at Shrewsbury BID.”