Peter runs The Pedal Inn, a mobile bar events company with a special affection for gin. On 7th December they host Beckenham Christmas Gin Party at the Mansion. 

The Pedal Inn Tell us a bit about your background

I’ve worked with a range of people and in a number of sectors, but one thing keeps me going; I love working with people and adding value to their life – whether that be from a new drink they’ve tried, to giving them a great experience, it’s what makes me tick.

I’ve got a mixed background, having worked in Secondary Education, Corporate Customer Relations and Hospitality. 

I worked in a number of hospitality settings in my late teens to early 20s, I moved into education for a number of years as a secondary school teacher. After 5 years I felt it wasn’t for me, so moved to work in the corporate sector. 

Having entertained and been entertained at a number of restaurants and bars, I had some great experiences and some not so great ones, too. It started to play on my mind that you could put a lot of corporate customer service into hospitality.

Where does your love of Gin come from?

I made a conscious decision in my early 20s to replace beer with gin, as it was a lower calorie option. Over the years, and since doing this job, I’ve fallen in love with the complexity and variety that comes with gin, from its impressive and interesting history to the fact that in just 5 years the number of producers in the UK alone is around 360 (give or take). I just think it’s a fascinating beverage.

How did your business idea come about?

We’ve always wanted to run a mobile bar; we ran the bar at our own wedding; but never had the financial freedom to run it as a business. After carefully putting some ideas together and saving a Pashley Trike from landfill, 2018 was the right time to get our plan rolling. We wanted to bring learnings and experience from different sectors into our business model, so we focus on great customer service and education, as well as trying to build a bar business that has minimal environmental impact. There are now three arms to what we do:

  • Festival and Market Bar
  • Wedding and Event Bars
  • Masterclasses and Tasting Night

Our unique approach to designing and running Masterclasses and Tasting Nights has been really enjoyable. We’ve been to a couple of experiences hosted by a number of brands in the city and the issue we found with these sessions was the speakers trying to sell you their products. Our idea was to deliver a tasting and experience session similar to what was available at distilleries and in the City, but providing variety of brands and opinion, rather than delivering a sales pitch.

What were the highlights from the summer Gin Masterclasses?

We had some great feedback from our Gin Masterclasses over the summer. One of our highlights was seeing familiar faces come back for the varied sessions we ran. It created a small community, as well as clarified to us that we were doing something that people enjoyed. We received some great feedback from ticket holders and we were really proud to bring something new and different to the area.

You’re holding a Christmas Gin Party at the Mansion on 7th December. What can people expect?

The Christmas Gin Party will celebrate the adaptability of gin. Bottle Room ticket holders can expect a well stocked bar with a variety of premium and artisan gins and a spinning wheel to help those not too sure what they want to have. 

Our VIPs will get access to the Bottle Room, but also have the chance to be talked through 6 carefully selected local gins from London and the Home Counties. We’ve already secured 3 of the brands we’d like to offer, and are talking to and tasting a few more, to ensure we’ve got a great variety to pair with grazing platters. 

We also have entertainment on the night, with a local duo playing some background music at the start and a sing-along duo helping us celebrate to the end. 

We are likely to run a token-based system so all drinks will be the same price, except for a couple of small batch and limited edition bottles which will come with a premium price tag.

Why the Mansion?

What’s not to love about the Mansion? It’s an original community space and we have loved delivering our Masterclasses there. It made sense to celebrate Christmas and Gin at the Mansion with the local community.

Any other plans for the future?

We definitely want to deliver our Masterclasses again next summer, so we’re hoping Peckish returns so we can collaborate there. We’re already getting booked for events next year, including our first Rainbow wedding, which we’re really proud to be a part of. 

Dependent on the success of the Christmas Gin Party, we will look to host another party in the summer or host a larger scale Gin Festival for more people to enjoy! We can’t consider these, however, until we make The Christmas Gin Party a success, so we urge people to book. With only 150 tickets available and over 1100 people showing an interest in tickets, we do suggest booking soon to avoid disappointment!