Get to know your favourite alcoholic beverages by taking your group on a drink-inspired experience, be it a gin distillery tour, an exploration of a brewery, or an afternoon of wine tasting.
Wines of Britain
There are now over 500 vineyards in the UK, many located in the south of England but others dotted across the Midlands and East Anglia, Yorkshire and even north and south Wales. Many of these vineyards, ranging from huge scale commercial operations to small family-run businesses, welcome groups.
Great places to start are Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey and Brightwell Vineyard in Oxfordshire (pictured). Denbies offers a number of group tours, both indoor and outdoor, and at many times throughout the day including the evening. GTOs might like to book an outdoor vineyard sparkling wine tasting tour that sees guests enjoy a glass of wine while learning about the estate.
Brightwell Vineyard, meanwhile, produces white, rosé, red and sparkling wines. Group vineyard tours and wine tastings take place on any day of the week from June to September. Tours last two hours and include the tasting of five wines.
Pictured: A tasting opportunity at the Bombay Sapphire Distillery.
The current craze for gins is in full swing and gin distillery visits are now incredibly prevalent with tourists of all ages. April this year saw almost 300 distilleries now in existence in the UK, a number that looks likely to grow if the drink’s popularity is anything to go by.
The Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Hampshire, for example, showcases the skill and artistry behind Bombay Sapphire gin. During a visit, groups will learn about the botanicals that go into the gin in the glasshouses; watch the production of gin; and discover their own personal taste profile.
Enjoy a city-based gin experience by taking a group visit to the Beefeater Gin Distillery in Kennington, London where you’ll be introduced to 195 years of gin making. An interactive self-discovery tour will take visitors on a journey through international politics, exotic imports from the British Empire, and an era of Victorian entrepreneurs. Alternatively, there are group tours available.
You might like to expand your knowledge further at the Lakes Distillery in the Lake District where an insight into the making of gin, whisky and vodka distillation can be enjoyed. A tour includes an in-depth look at the various processes of spirit creation; a visit to the stillroom and the barrel warehouse; and a guided tasting of the three spirits made on site.
Don’t worry, beer happy
Pictured: A group at Shepherd Neame Brewery.
For many, the classic beer brewery tour is still a favourite, many with a tasting session at the end that will please beer and ale fans alike. Shepherd Neame Brewery in Faversham is said to be Britain’s oldest brewer and a guided tour takes visitors around the site to learn about the ancient art of brewing. Exclusive tours for private groups of up to 60 people can be arranged.
Experience the other end of the scale in an ultra-modern beer brewery at Adnams in Southwold. Behind the walls of the Victorian building lies one of the most modern breweries in the UK, which also comes complete with a distillery. Groups can explore behind the scenes and discover how beers and spirits are made, plus enjoy a 20-minute tasting of some of the drinks made there.
Feeling peckish? Add a culinary element to your tour by heading to Welbeck Abbey Brewery where beer and cheese tasting can be arranged. This historic country estate in Nottinghamshire offers a brewery tour followed by tasting at the on-site School of Artisan Food. Private tours are also available.
We want to hear from you…
Have you and your group enjoyed a drink-related tour or visit at attractions not mentioned here?
Let us know what they are or send us your photos by e-mailing email@example.com – we’d love to hear from you.