NSW Regional Craft Spirits


NSW Regional Craft Spirits

New South Wales is undergoing a craft spirits renaissance. In the past decade, the number of craft distilleries in NSW has exploded from just a handful to over 60 today. Foodies and spirits aficionados alike are flocking to these small-batch distillers for a taste of locally-made gin, vodka, rum, and whiskey.

This growth mirrors the rise of craft breweries and urban wineries over the past 20 years. But what’s behind this thirst for locally-sourced artisanal spirits? For many, it’s about supporting local business and getting to know the provenance of the products they consume. The distillers themselves are drawn to the creativity and freedom to experiment that craft distilling allows. By staying small, they can take risks with new flavours and techniques that big brands can’t.

The result is an exciting range of distinctive spirits emerging from NSW. Keep reading to discover some of the very best new craft distilleries that NSW has to offer. We will have a close look at a few lesser-known distilleries growing a loyal following Hillman Bros Distilling Co in Yass and Rewind Distillery Cootamundra.

Craft distilleries are different from large commercial distilleries in a few key ways:

Smaller Production

Craft distilleries produce much smaller batches of spirits, usually less than 100,000 litres per year. This allows them to focus on quality and experimentation rather than mass production.

Handcrafted Process

At a craft distillery, the process is hands-on, with the distiller actively involved at all stages. The batches are physically crafted by people, not machines.

Use of Local Ingredients

Craft distilleries tend to source as many ingredients as possible from local farms and suppliers. This allows them to produce spirits that showcase regional flavours and supports local agriculture.

Innovative Spirits

Since they don’t have to mass produce consistent products, craft distilleries can create unique spirits you won’t find anywhere else. They often experiment with distinctive ingredients, aging techniques or mash bills.

New South Wales is home to a growing craft distilling scene, with innovative new distilleries popping up across the state in recent years. Here are some of the top new players leading the charge in NSW craft spirits:

Hillman Bros. Distilling Co. – Yass NSW

Located just one hour from Canberra near Yass, NSW, Hillman Bros Distilling Co is a relative newcomer to the craft distillery scene. Founded in 2021 by brothers Matt and Geoff Hillman, Hillman Bros combines a passion for producing quality handmade spirits on their property outside of Yass.

The Hillman brothers use traditional copper pot stills for their distillation process, which allows them to carefully control every step from start to finish. Hillman Bros gin has already built a strong following in the NSW Southern Tablelands. Their offering currently includes:

Hillman Bros Signature Dry Gin, using traditional botanicals plus the unique flavour of Black lime to produce a beautiful clean dry peppery gin. Think something fancy like a martini or gimlet.

Hillman Bros Australian Gin, a perfect allrounder using macadamia, lemon myrtle and wattle seed to produce a citrusy and biscuity lemon slice in a bottle. This gin is all about the G&T.

Home – Hillman Bros

The Rewind Distillery – Cootamundra NSW

Rewind spirits and liqueurs are their own thing; made for those who like the less serious side of life; rewind spirits are all unique. Founded by Luke and Nina in Cootamundra NSW in 2022. Rewind make their spirits on a small batch copper still allowing them to control quality, flavour and consistency of the final product.

Rewind Vivid Orange. Made from red wine sourced from Cootamundra, the Vivid Orange has a hint of grape followed by a strong burst of citrus with a finish of date-like caramel. It offers a perfect orange lift to any cocktail or is equally nice, by itself on ice.

Rewind Coconut Ice. Reminisce over your childhood fete/CWA stall staple offering of coconut ice slice will give a tropical edge to any cocktail. Quadruple distilled base spirit is steeped in organic coconut.

The Rewind Distillery | Micro distillery in Cootamundra NSW

The Future of Craft Distilling in Regional NSW

The future looks bright for craft distilling in New South Wales and we have only scratched the surface looking at two new distilleries. With the number of small-batch distilleries rapidly growing in recent years, we can expect to see more innovation and experimentation with local ingredients and techniques.

Some predictions for regional NSW small batch distilling:

– A focus on local NSW ingredients and botanicals. Distillers will increasingly look to their own backyard to source interesting flavors from native fruits, herbs, spices and other botanicals. Some distilleries may even grow their own ingredients.

– More regional diversity and “terroir” expressions. As the industry spreads out from Sydney, we’ll see more distilleries popping up in wine regions like the Canberra Cool Climate wine region and Hilltops Region of NSW. Location and local climate will impact the spirits produced.

– New takes on old traditions. Australian craft distillers are putting unique spins on established styles of gin, rum, whiskey and vodka using native ingredients.

– Sustainability efforts. From energy efficient distilling equipment to recycled packaging and zero waste policies, sustainability will be an increasing focus for craft distillers.

– Tourism growth. More craft distilleries will invest in tasting rooms, visitor centres, restaurants and cellar doors. They create a great addition on a trip through wine country or the countryside.

With curiosity and creativity driving the new wave of craft distilling in NSW, there are sure to be many innovative and delicious handcrafted spirits to come. The future for the industry looks very promising.

Overall, the emerging craft distillery scene in country NSW is one to watch. As the number of small batch distilleries continues to grow, it’s an exciting time for spirit lovers who appreciate the artistry and care that goes into a well-crafted liqueur, vodka, gin or whisky. The innovation and world-class quality from distillers like Hillman Bros and Rewind Distillery promises a bright future for the industry in regional NSW.

The next time you’re looking for a bottle of spirits made locally with passion and expertise, seek out one of NSW’s stellar craft distilleries. Your taste buds will thank you!