A CRAFT beer and gin bar in the heart of Taunton that created “a community where people feel safe” will celebrate its first birthday next week.

Ninkasi, on Riverside Place, was opened in September last year by Robin Pendleton and his partner Paula Robinson.

Now, as they get ready to celebrate their first year of trading with beers from “the best craft breweries in the UK” they “look forward to our community growing into our second year”.

Somerset County Gazette: Robin Pendleton in a photo from last year before the official openingRobin Pendleton in a photo from last year before the official opening (Image: Newsquest)

Robin and Paula said: “When we had the idea of opening a craft beer and gin bar in Taunton, it was of course a risky decision to make given that there is nothing like it in Taunton and the current economic climate is as we all know not great.

“With all that said, we are happy to report that we have a great local following of regular customers who are all lovely people from all walks of life many of which we wouldn’t have met if we had not opened our doors.

“Many of our regular customers have become friends with each other and indeed ourselves and together we have created a really nice community in a place where people feel safe and enjoy the ever-changing craft beers and West Country gins not found anywhere else in Taunton.

“We would like to thank all of our customers old and new for all their support in our first year and look forward to our community growing into our second year.

“As we rapidly approach the end of our first year of trading as Ninkasi Craft Beer and Gin, we will be celebrating our birthday with our third tap takeover.

“This time it will be with Verdant Brewing Company which is widely considered one of the best craft breweries in the UK, so we are super excited to welcome Verdant and some fantastic beers taking over six of our taps and many cans in our fridge on Friday, September 22.”

During their first year, they had 150 different beers on keg and 600 different beers in cans.

They also have 19 West Country gins on offer as well as four rums and one whisky.

The Ninkasi birthday celebration will start on Friday, September 22 with the tap takeover and will continue Saturday, September 23 with some live music.

The bar will be closed on Sunday, September 24 for a private function.

Other upcoming events will include a Stout Fest in November, more brewery TTOs, gin tasting, and charity events and the bar also hopes to be working with a local business to supply them with food in the coming months.