There are three things we can’t survive summer without: friends, the beach, and (maybe a few too many) drinks. If you feel the same way, it’s time to jump in the car because we’ve found the NSW distillery that’s totally worth the road trip. Cape Byron Distillery is the gin distillery that may be hidden away from the highway but certainly hasn’t stayed hidden from our radar. It’s only minutes from Byron Bay, which means there will absolutely be time for a post-drink beach drip. Yet, it won’t be the busy beach where you’ll find this award-winning gin – the distillery is nestled away on the Brook Family’s 96-acre farm, Brookfarm, in the quiet surroundings of a macadamia orchard and lush rainforest.
This rainforest we speak of, however, is more than it seems. The Brook’s family have been regenerating the rainforest since 1988, including replanting 35,000 subtropical trees to create the oasis. Now? The newest addition of the purpose-built distillery has turned this sanctuary into the perfect stop for an across-the-border road trip.
If the peace and quiet away from Brisbane’s CBD isn’t enough to convince you, the owner’s passion for sustainability certainly will. Of the 26 botanicals in Brookie’s Byron Dry Gin (their speciality), 18 are sourced locally from Northern NSW including many from their very own rainforest. With every new season, the rainforest offers up new flavours: Spring means fresh and fruity for a lighter taste, Summer provides the yearly harvest of the Davisonia Plum for their much-loved Slow Gin, then Autumn and Winter spice up the gin’s life with ginger and cinnamon.
With those tastes in mind, we can’t get in the car quick enough! And yes, we do consider ourselves experts in the field of gin – owed to the amount we consume on a Friday night. Though it’s not only us who are raving about the flavours: these seasonal specials were tasty enough to recently score two gold medals in the 2018 San Francisco Spirit Competition, which had over 2,200 entries. A well-deserved win not only for the gin but for the hard-working family behind it that put their passion for sustainability and supporting their local community at the heart of everything they do.
If you want to see this passion in action, be sure to book a personal tour of the distillery where you can learn all about the history, surroundings, and process of gin distillery itself. The tours are offered every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at selected times, so bookings are essential. Or, if you want to try before you drive, you’ll be able to have a taste at any of the 132 Brisbane stockists – River Bar and Kitchen, Malt Dining, and The Cloakroom Bar are just to name a few.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your drinking buddies, type ‘Cape Byron Distillery’ into Google Maps, and throw on your favourite hot-hits playlist. You can thank us later!
📸 via Cape Byron Distillery and Auguste The Label