Home' National Liquor News : NLN FEB 2017 Contents 64 | FEBRUARY 2017 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
EDDIE BROOK, FOUNDER
CAPE BYRON DISTILLERY
WHAT IS THE BACKGROUND
BEHIND CAPE BYRON DISTILLERY?
Cape Byron Distillery will specialise in creating
the highest quality spirits that encompass
elements from its natural surrounds of the
Northern River Region, while keeping to
time honoured traditions and staying true to
the art of distillation. We have a passion for
excellence, sustainability and giving back to our
local community. We are here to create a new
chapter in the book of Australian distilleries.
The concept for Cape Byron Distillery has
been burning away for the past four years,
however, it wasn’t until I met Jim McEwan
during a three week sell-out whisky tour of
Australia, that we immediately formed a firm
friendship. A seed was planted and Cape Byron
Distillery was born.
HOW HAS YOUR BACKGROUND WITH
SOUTHTRADE HELPED TO STEER
YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?
I worked for Southtrade for around five years.
I began as a Trainer/Brand Ambassador in
Brisbane then moved to Sydney to cover a
myriad of sales and marketing roles working
my way to Brand Management. My time
at Southtrade has given me an in-depth
knowledge of the workings of the Australian
spirit industry and during this time I built an
In 2014, Southtrade gave me the opportunity
to orchestrate an Australia wide tour for the
most awarded Master Distiller of our time, Jim
McEwan. During our three weeks together we
swapped many stories and it was when I spoke
of my family and the work we have done with
regenerating rainforest on our farm that an idea
to create world-class spirits encompassing the
essence of the rainforest was created.
TELL ME ABOUT BROOKIE’S
BYRON DRY GIN:
Brookie’s Byron Dry Gin is a traditional dry style
of gin that captures the unique flavours of the
subtropical rainforest of Northern Rivers. My
family has been regenerating rainforest for the
past 30 years and it is from this rainforest that
we wild harvest a large portion of our native
botanicals. Working with native Australian
flavours means that there are very short growing
seasons, rather than deterring us we embrace
this seasonality and showcase it our gin.
The Pozible campaign was so important to
us. It was not only the initial cash flow and
route to market that made it so important, it
also gave us a great medium for us to tell our
story and connect with our potential customers.
We have many elements to our story and
crowdfunding our first release through Pozible
injected much needed funds to further produce
our second and following releases.
WHAT ARE SOME OPPORTUNITIES
FOR CAPE BYRON DISTILLERY?
We are in the midst of a gin renaissance in
Australia. Consumers are further becoming
educated on premium gin and we are seeing
the demand growing. The Australian craft
spirits industry is at an extremely exciting time.
I see this similar to where the micro brewing
industry was around five years ago. We get
excited about more Australian spirits taking
their rightful place behind cocktail bars and on
As the thirst for premium gin grows in
Australia and the education around Australian
native produce becomes more prevalent we get
excited about our products finding their place in
the market and leading the industry in innovation.
We have just brought our first product to
market and in the following three to four months
we will be introducing our second product that
will showcase some of the incredible native
Australian fruits we grow in our area.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BIG
TRENDS FOR 2017?
The worldwide trend of locality is very
prevalent in Australia with consumers
supporting and opting for Australian made
products and in particular those made close
to their region. We are seeing that trend only
increasing, however, we must still give these
consumers a reason to purchase.
Rainforest regeneration is at the core of who
we are and we will be working with a great
organisation called The Big Scrub foundation
by giving a proportion of our profits to assist
them with protecting and regenerating our
remnants of ancient rainforest. The Big Scrub
rainforest is at a critical place, it is at one per
cent of its former glory due to reforestation and
land clearing over the past 150 years.
WHAT FACTORS SHOULD WE BE
DISCUSSING IN 2017?
I pose the question, what is the identity of
the Australian spirit industry and how is this
purveyed in the products we offer? I believe
our industry is at an extremely exciting time
as more quality Australian spirits are offered
that truly represent the flavours of Australia.
Further to this identity is the use of Australian
native flavours in cocktails and drinks. There
is some work to be done on the supply chain
to bring these to bars and retailers around the
country, however, if the industry encourages
demand I am confident that there will be a solid
supply of these ingredients.
The Australian distilling industry needs to
be shown more support from the Government.
The Australian alcohol taxation system on our
craft distilling industry is not conjunctive in
support of a growing industry. The distilling
industry is at precipice of growth, similar to
those points in time of the wine industry and
the craft beer industry. We look to strong
leadership, legislation and support structures to
be put in place for 2017.
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