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Of gin and other madness - a portrait of Ginsanity

by Anastasia Hartleib
Von Gin und anderem Wahnsinn - Ginsanity im Portrait

If someone had told Dagmar Frangenberg 20 years ago that she would one day become a distiller, she would probably have called them crazy. Pretty much in the same way that her friends later declared her and her husband Michael insane when they told her that they dreamed of having their own distillery. But as life sometimes goes, the most absurd idea becomes reality. Just like with Ginsanity.

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The story of the Frangenbergs and their Ginsanity manufactory actually starts somewhere else entirely. Michael is a purchasing director, Dagmar works as a writer for television and travels all over the world. They both have a young daughter and live in Cologne. And they are in their early forties when they stumble into a real crisis that presents them with quite a challenge as a couple. "The basic idea at the time was to find a unifying hobby that we could literally burn for together again," says Dagmar Frangenberg.

They found the unifying element in gin. Even before their crisis, the two regularly bring back gins from the corners of the world they have just traveled to. But Dagmar is often disappointed by the pure taste of the spirits. So the couple started distilling together - and they quickly realized how a new passion was growing inside them. Again and again they tinkered with new recipes, optimized the distilling process, visited professional distilleries - and found each other again through their very own gin creations.

The first bottles - sold out after just a few hours

The two have now been together for a good three years in their test kitchen, which they have set up in the basement of their neighbor's house, when it happens. All of a sudden, without warning, the perfect gin, later to become The Classic Dry Gin, drips out of the kettle. Round in taste and yet exciting - and above all, an absolute delight on its own. Dagmar and Michael Frangenberg are so enthusiastic about their creation that they secure a stand at the most popular street festival in the area to sell their gin to the public. The prepared bottles are sold out after just a few hours.

Dagmar und Michael Frangenberg haben über den Gin wieder zueinander gefunden - und sich den Traum einer eigenen Destillerie verwirklicht
Dagmar and Michael Frangenberg found each other again through gin - and realized their dream of running their own distillery

Although friends and acquaintances are enthusiastic about the Frangenbergs' gin, they don't necessarily see them as full-time distillers. But Dagmar in particular refuses to give in so easily and decides to turn their shared dream into reality. The test kitchen moves from the cellar of the neighboring house into an old industrial hall, where it becomes a professional distillery. A name is also quickly found: Ginsanity. A combination of the words gin and insanity. After all, the two were often declared insane for their dream.

Even today, the two of them work late into the night on new recipes

Today it turns out that the idea wasn't that crazy - on the contrary. Dagmar and Michael have not only put their crisis behind them. Dagmar has also found her purpose behind the still and can now make a living from the distillery. Of course, it wasn't always easy to assert yourself as a layperson and, what's more, as a woman in the still heavily male-dominated spirits scene. But looking back, every hurdle today is another success on the way to her own established brand.

Vor allem der Prozess des Brennens fasziniert Dagmar Frangenberg
Dagmar Frangenberg is particularly fascinated by the distilling process

And even though Michael is still doing his original job, that doesn't mean that Ginsanity is only Dagmar's passion project. The two of them always develop new recipes together - usually working late into the night in the kitchen. Their motto is always: think outside the box and don't give a damn about supposed rules. Their goal: pure, surprising enjoyment without artificial frills and additives.

And the results are something to be proud of. Whether infused with the finest coffee beans, such as the Strong Coffee Gin, or the exciting White Truffle Gin, which is distilled with white Alba truffle - or, their latest creation, the Harmless Hottie, a completely alcohol-free mulled gin. Every Ginsanity creation tastes of excitement and passion - and the small portion of craziness that is needed for heartfelt projects.


About the autor:

Anastasia Hartleib

Anastasia Hartleib

Katalog & Marketing Managerin

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Für mich geht nichts über das Entdecken kleiner Manufakturen. Ob das der Micro Craft Brauer aus Bayern oder die sächsische Brennerei ist, die es bereits seit Jahrzehnten gibt - hauptsache klein, regional verwurzelt und mit Sinn für's Handwerk!

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