Up & Com­ers

New meth­ods, in­dige­nous in­gre­di­ents and re­defin­ing ‘dry’ – a brave new world of drinks is here, and Lara Pi­cone gets to know some of the coun­try’s top in­no­va­tors lead­ing the way.

delicious - - CONTENTS -

Hear from the top in­no­va­tors in our world-class drinks in­dus­try.

PER­HAPS MORE THAN any­where, we Aus­tralians love to share a drink. And be­cause we so en­joy so­cial­is­ing, a cel­e­bra­tory toast, and the sound of ice against glass, we have an un­com­mon re­spect for the arts of wine­mak­ing, dis­till­ing and brew­ing.

“It’s very rare any­where on earth that peo­ple have the same cog­ni­sance around wine re­gions and va­ri­eties,” says de­li­cious. drinks guru Mike Ben­nie. It’s lit­tle sur­prise then, that from vine to vat, Aus­tralia is a strong­hold when it comes to in­no­va­tion in the drinks in­dus­try.

Mer­rily, in the past three years, there’s been a real swing to­ward in­no­va­tion that comes with a healthy pour of do-good­ing, from com­mit­ment to prove­nance, land care, in­dige­nous in­gre­di­ents, and even so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity. “We’ve never been more in­no­va­tive,” says Ben­nie. “There’s a sense of ad­ven­ture and gen­eral ex­cite­ment within the in­dus­try.”

Here, we speak to five trail­blaz­ing la­bels to keep an eye on – all in­tent on giv­ing your drink­ing habits a good stir. Let’s drink to that!

What hap­pens when you achieve your life goal after just two years in its pur­suit? When Ryan Hartshorn’s Sheep Whey Vodka won the gong for ‘World’s

Best Vodka’ at the World Vodka Awards in 2018, the self-taught dis­tiller was, un­der­stand­ably, a good deal shocked.

The un­ex­pected vic­tory de­manded a new, more for­mi­da­ble am­bi­tion. And so Ryan of Hartshorn Dis­tillery in south­ern Tas­ma­nia ( grand­vewe.com.au/hartshornd­is­tillery) set to work in­no­vat­ing a whey whisky, again us­ing the bi-prod­uct from his fam­ily’s cheesery, Grand­vewe.

The first it­er­a­tion of Whey-Sky was never in­tended to reach the palates of con­sumers, but Hartshorn de­cided to re­lease his el­e­men­tary at­tempt. “It started as an ex­per­i­ment. Batch One sold out in 24 hours,” he says. “I was stunned.” Seem­ingly, Hartshorn is on his way to com­pre­hen­sively smash­ing through an­other life goal – re­mark­able for some­one who learnt how to dis­til from books and chat fo­rums in an at­tempt to save his fam­ily’s busi­ness from bank­ruptcy.

“For the first eight months I was learn­ing how to dis­til, I was con­stantly think­ing how I could make this dis­tillery rel­e­vant to our cheesery,” says Hartshorn. Then he read about whey fer­men­ta­tion. The idea dove­tailed per­fectly with his plans for the dis­tillery and his fam­ily’s com­mit­ment to waste re­duc­tion and sustainabi­lity. “I’m a firm be­liever that ev­ery busi­ness needs to take their en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial im­pact se­ri­ously,” he says. “It’s our mis­sion to be a pos­i­tive dis­rup­tor in all that we do.”

The Whey-Sky, al­though not tech­ni­cally a whisky, is a step in the right dis­rup­tion. The dou­ble-dis­tilled whey gives way to maple aro­mas laced with cit­rus spice and lan­guishes in sherry bar­rels for a good three years be­fore bot­tling, so be pre­pared to wait for Batch Two.

Ryan Hartshorn in his el­e­ment; the ex­per­i­men­tal Whey-Sky; sam­ples (in­set); Hartshorn bot­tles at the cel­lar door; prod­ucts of the dis­till­ing process. OP­PO­SITE: Ap­ple­wood Dis­tillery @grand­vewecheese­s @hartshornd­is­tillery

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