OTLEY’S first Coffee Festival has - like so many events this year - been delayed due to COVID-19.

The event, which would have been based around a hub of stalls and coffee-related activities at All Saints Parish Church and involved the town’s cafes, was due to take place on Saturday, April 25.

But organisers Otley Coffee Culture took the decision to postpone it in March, as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

That decision also put paid to plans that would have seen a special, coffee flavoured spirit launched on the day.

Instead, Otley Coffee Culture Gin will now be unveiled this Saturday, August 1. The result of a collaboration between Rumagin Spirits in Otley and the Beverley-based Northern Fox gin company, the special edition drink contains hints of coffee along with almond, plum, chocolate and more.

Owner of Rumagin Spirits, Mark Jarvis, said: “We teamed up with the wonderful guys from Northern Fox to create a Coffee Culture gin, especially for the festival.

“Although the festival has sadly been postponed until next year, coronavirus permitting, we have decided to use the first anniversary of our opening on August 1 to launch the gin.

“This date also coincides with Yorkshire Day, so it’s cause for a double celebration.”

Mr Jarvis got the idea for the spirit rolling when he mentioned the Otley coffee festival to Northern Fox’s owner and master distiller, Oliver Beniston.

He added: “Rumagin Spirits will be the only place you can get your hands on a bottle of this limited edition gin.

“The launch day will see Oliver setting up right outside handing out samples, but there will always be a bottle available to sample in store.

“This is a great chance to support local producers of quality products.”

Mr Beniston, meanwhile, is looking forward to seeing how the gin goes down with members of the public - and is pretty sure it will be a hit.

He said: “If you love coffee, gin and Otley you are going to love this!”

Otley Coffee Festival’s organisers, meanwhile, are hoping to be able to hold the event at a new date in the not too distant future.

The event’s website, at https://www.otleycoffeeculture.co.uk/festival, says: “We’re sorry to announce that due to uncertainty around the COVID-19 epidemic the 2020 festival is postponed.

“As soon as things become clearer we will announce the new date here.”

The site also sketches out the longer term vision for the festival. It says: “We are intending for this to be a catalyst for a year-long support network for coffee in Otley.

“We already have an amazing range of great coffee shops; we intend to build a true coffee town.”