We put a call-out to the women in Australian distilling to give us an insight into who they are, and why they chose this industry, here’s some of their responses!
Co-Founder & Head Distiller at Full Circle Spirits, SA
HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE INDUSTRY?
WHAT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN THE INDUSTRY? "I first fell in love with the process of distillation while doing vintage in France in 2010; I was able to spend time on an old alembic copper still taking cuts of eau de vie made from grape marc."
YOUR MOST PROUD MOMENTS IN THE INDUSTRY? "Receiving an award at Tasting Australia Spirit awards last year for the Best Independent Bottler (which is the strange title given to Distilleries who do not own the still they do their production distilling on). It was at the end of our first year of launching our range of vodka, gin, liqueurs and new make and it gave us some confidence and ‘air under our wings’ to continue with our aspirations to make some of the most premium, small batch spirits in Australia."
ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU'VE FOUND IN THE INDUSTRY?
"The industry is filling shelf space quite quickly now; there are many distilleries and consumers have a huge number of products from around the world to wade through before finding artisanal, premium, delicious spirits. They are more expensive to make, and therefore sit at a higher price point on the shelf, but I encourage everyone to drink less but better quality - it’s worth it!"
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE THAT KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT AUSSIE CRAFT SPIRITS?
"There’s a playfulness when it comes to flavour expression that I see particularly in Australian craft distillers products. Distillers seem keen to express their love of unique botanicals and local flavours in their spirits. It’s magical and well worth exploring broadly and buying the spirits being made in Australia - lucky for consumers there is lots to love about Australian spirits right now!"
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD WANT TO TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
"It’s ok to expand your skills as a maker across industries; how you define your career is up to you. I started making wine when I was 26, then began to learn to distill at 40. At 46 I co-founded a Brewing company and at 48 I’d made a range of non-alc beverages for our venue and beyond. By the time I turned 50 I plunged head-first into perfumery. The hardest part might just be excellence in all these areas of making, but it’s a goal i’m working towards, day by day."
WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT US TO KNOW?
"A lot of the white spirit products in Australia were created to bring cashflow in to distilleries while they waited for their Whisky to mature in barrel. There will be a lot of Whisky being released in the next few years - some of it will be great and some not so good. It takes a lot of work, care, skill and money to make great Whisky. It’s going to be an exciting time for Whisky lovers to get out and taste broadly and support distilleries by buying what they love."
WHO HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION IN YOUR CAREER?
"Bill & Lyn Lark and Jon & Sarah Lark, have been hugely inspiring. Both acted on their vision of founding white and dark spirits in Australia. Bill & Lyn forged a career (and founded the Aussie Whisky industry) in Tassie. Jon & Sarah went to Kangaroo Island and really established excellence in craft white spirits."