I first started following Andy last year during Gin a Day May. His content is always informed, his Instagram shots are beautiful and he has become a great part of the gin community. Very happy to have him join me for this weeks Behind the Blogger.
Behind the Blogger
Can you tell us a little about what your page is all about?
The inspiration behind the theme of Gin & Trilby is simple. The “Gin” side is the appreciation of all things gin. It is a place to show my journey into the ever growing world of trying new gins, highlighting the craft and hard work that goes into so many gins by wonderful distillers and putting my review and serve out for anyone who wants to listen… and the “Trilby” side represents any aspects of the lifestyle that goes with it. I often found that many of my greatest memories of finding new gins would be from evenings out with friends, hours spent in sunny beer gardens and whilst travelling… all usually whilst wearing a trusty Trilby hat. So it is about the personal aspect, the enjoyment behind the camera. The creativity and inspiration I get from experiences life throws my way. It can represent the song that was playing or the people you were with and everything in between that creates those moments we remember and cherish. It helps that it also spells out G&T!
Do you have a blog or do you mainly use social media to share your thoughts?
My gin journey is purely on Instagram at the moment. I have had a few different blogs (non-gin related) over the past 10 years or more and they all seemed to lack an identity or just drift away but I love seeing and reading all the new gin blogs popping up, all of which are giving me a lot of new inspiration so never say never!
What was the turning point that made you decide to get involved in the drink blogging world?
I guess my beginning in drink blogging is much like many others. I had begun to enjoy finding new gins, especially through signing up to Craft Gin Club and exploring new serves and had been posting them on my personal instagram. But as that became more frequent and I wanted to learn more and share my journey I figured it was time to start a new page… and thankfully found like-minded folk that don’t judge if you post about gin on a daily basis 😉
Did you set out with any goals? (did you want to write reviews for distilleries,make recipes or just want to write about something you were interested in?)
Truthfully at first I just wanted to have a place I could post about gin and not clog up my personal feed. Instantly I was welcomed in by new and existing accounts and it felt like there was a growing community of like-minded juniper loving folk and a world of ginny delights opening up before me. As time went on and I posted more, grew my gin collection and started to experiment with serves I wanted to learn more and showcase distillers wherever possible. My history of blogging means I’m pre-disposed to wanting to wax lyrical about things I am passionate about and as my passion for gin grew and I continued to want to share that journey I guess my page has grown up with it. As time has gone on I find I enjoy the creativity of setting up a picture as much as writing about it… and probably spent just as much time on both!
Do you have any drink industry experience and do you think that makes a difference to how people perceive your opinion?
I have almost zero. I was never a barman. I haven’t worked in the industry. I even used to be the designated driver but as soon as I found gin, my passion grew and it has become an ongoing love for me to find out more about and share my journey of gin discovery with anyone who will listen. I don’t feel like the lack of experience makes a difference. My tastes have changed over the years and my own palate continues to develop as I continue on. Everyone is looking for something different. My views are my own and honest and might be different to others but that’s the beauty of this gin world, there is something for everyone.
What do you hope people take away from your writing?
My only hope is that people enjoy following my gin journey along with me. If my approach inspires someone to try a new gin and continue their own journey then I am flattered. I love hearing what other people think of gins and whether their experience has been similar or different to mine, whether they found a serve they loved or would recommend. At the end of the day I am still learning and finding new gins myself. I also love how this has led me to expanding my love and appreciation of quality mixers as well and that can be equally as important to me in experiencing a gin for the first time or even changing up an old favourite.
Who are you when you are away from the gin and drinks pages? Tell us more about the person behind the name? By the way, where did you get the name for your page?
Away from the page I’m Andy. Husband to my wonderful wife Zoe, who puts up with all of my behind the camera antics of creating gin posts and finding room for the ever growing gin collection and gin-related paraphanalia. I am paw-rent to our handsome chocolate working cocker spaniel, Cooper, who keeps me on my toes but is always by my side and also puts up with me taking time to create insta posts when obviously I should be throwing a ball for him to fetch. I am a Contract Project Worker in the financial services world, which is a far cry from the gin blogging world but certainly drives my need to try new gins on a regular basis. I also used to be in Marketing and used to work for Fruit of the Loom as their European Digital Marketing Exec, looking after their 7 langauge websites and travelling to (not at all) glamorous trade shows and photo shoots, which gave me a real passion for the art direction side of things. I love to read, whether it’s a good crime thriller, or a Dave Gorman adventure as well as blogs and posts. I like to be active and always seem to be on the go doing something but any downtime I get I love binge-watching Netflix docs, crime dramas and films. I am a very social person, and love nothing more than hanging out with friends and family, enjoying great food and chatting away the hours with a G&T or two in hand.
Sorry I answered the name question earlier, don’t want to bore you that again here haha 🙂
Has there been anyone who’s inspired your blogging journey?
Having been involved in blogging for pleasure and work over the last decade or so I am always inspired by numerous posts and pages I come across.
Initially I didn’t know much about gin blogs that were out there so it became a whole new world of delights to find.
However, my biggest inspiration from a blog perspective was a little closer to home and non-gin related as my step-sister Niki decided to take the plunge and leave her previous career and position she was well respected in and pursue her food blog Rebel Recipes full time, which has deservedly grown and continues to expand out into other medias such as her first book and podcast. That sort of courageous step is always the one I admire and love to see the hard work paying off!
Honestly, I have no idea. I just see it as an ongoing gin journey. I am loving being part of the gin blogging community and there is still an ever growing array of great new gins and mixers out there to try and wonderful people to meet and stories to hear. I would love to visit as many distillers as I can and meet up with like minded gin lovers that have become great insta friends to share a longer overdue G&T together. As long as I continue to enjoy the journey then long may it continue and let’s see where it takes me.
Anything else to add?
Just a big thank you to anyone who follows me, likes and comments on my posts. I am flattered and honoured to have grown with this community and continue to be amazed and inspired by so many other wonderful drink blogs and accounts.
Thanks for taking time out to chat Andy! Also weird seeing you in this pic without the hat – it’s like your Clark Kent thing where people won’t recognise you without it now!
So my Behind the Blogger has had more than its share of non-bloggers! I do wonder if the term is changing. So many people tend to use their Instagram for their writing now and I find the Instagram only accounts just as interesting as ones with a blog.
How do you feel about the term blogger? Is it -like The Scottish Alchemists alluded to a few weeks back – a fading star? Are people more up for the instant gratification of Instagram or Podcasts now? I know I can be. Let me know your thoughts.
You can find Andy’s great photos and content here;