Australian distillers react to big wins at Gin Magazine Awards
A triumphant showing saw Australian gin distillers take home six major accolades at the 2022 Gin Magazine Awards, held virtually on February 24.
The Gin Magazine awards are three in one, containing the World Gin Awards, Icons of Gin and the Gin Hall of Fame. Australian brands honored this year include Four Pillars, Never Never Distilling Co, Distillery Botanica and industry newcomers Devil’s Thumb Distillery. High commendations were also awarded to Cape Byron Distillery and Archie Rose Distilling.
Four Pillars won the Brand Innovator and Distiller of the Year awards, with distillery co-founder Stuart Gregor describing the wins as: “A huge surprise and frankly a great delight.
“Winning one would have been fantastic, but to win both is extraordinary and very humbling. I think those are also great prizes because they go to the heart of what Four Pillars is,” added Gregor.
“The Distiller of the Year is an award that recognizes a portfolio of gins, not just a single gin, and the Brand Innovator award shows that we are known for continuing to be restless, trying new things and evolving and never never stand still.
“What sets us apart, I guess, is a relentless pursuit of awesomeness. We never release a gin or a Made from Gin product or a tea towel unless we think it’s really awesome. We always strive to be ethical and generous and good citizens of the gin world that others look up to with respect.
And Gregor was quick to recognize the successes of Four Pillar’s other Australian gin makers: “We are also very proud of our Australian roots and love that a few other great Australian distilleries have been recognized alongside us today. on the next day.
One such producer is Devil’s Thumb Distillery in Far North Queensland, which received the award for the world’s best navy blue gin.
For co-founder and distiller, Mark Norman, the award represented a massive win for a distillery that is only about a year old.
“That’s a pretty big reward for a young distillery, it hasn’t sunk well yet,” Norman said. The Scream.
“I think I checked the website about 10 times to make sure I was right this morning.”
Norman believes it’s the production techniques, including extended steeping for essential botanicals, steam infusions, careful dilution and resting procedures, that have given his gin a head start.
“It allows for many different layers to go through the mind, and you can get individual flavors. It’s not just a thing that hits you in the face,” Norman concluded.
Another big winner of the event was South Australian Never Never Distilling Co., who were awarded the coveted title of World’s Best London Dry Gin for Triple Juniper Gin Export Strength, while the distillery’s Tim Boast was named Master Distiller of the Year.
“The World Gin Awards are one of the best spirits competitions in the world. London Dry Gin is the most consumed category in the world, so it’s pretty amazing to be considered at the top of this competitive heap,” Boast said.
“As a brand, we strive to consistently create the highest quality gin. These awards confirm not only my team, but also the thousands of gin lovers in Australia that we make great juices.
Boast was also delighted to be named Master Distiller of the Year and said: “If the very late night flurry of messages that continued into the wee hours was anything to go by, it was an exciting time. for the whole team.”
And among fellow Never Never distilleries, Four Pillars has received high praise from Boast.
“Four Pillars has always been an open book when it comes to supporting small distilleries, including us,” he said.
“They were certainly the pioneers of the Australian market. Now it’s up to us to catch up.
For Cape Byron Distillery, which was awarded a High Commendation in the Sustainable Distillery of the Year category, awards like these help Australian distilleries strive for greatness, as an entire industry. CEO and co-founder Eddie Brook noted that this is especially true when it comes to sustainability metrics.
“As a distillery, we are so proud of the work we do. Being recognized with various awards for quality and taste is so important to us, but being rewarded for our practice of sustainability is very special to us. Sustainability is at the heart of our business and our entire team is so connected and passionate about having a positive impact on our community and our environment,” said Brook.
“There are so many amazing distilleries in Australia that are doing great things from a sustainability perspective. The more distilleries are looking to do things better, measure their impact, ask ‘if this is best practice’, network, share and implement best practices, we could see the Australian distilling industry becoming a world leader in sustainable practices.
Doing so well on the world stage means big things for the Australian gin industry as a whole, according to The Gin Queen, Caroline Ashford.
“It firmly establishes us as a serious gin nation, up there with the UK. This creates a huge sense of pride within an industry that faces fierce competition from imports and sky-high excise rates,” Ashford said.
The number of unique ingredients available in Australia is something Ashford sees as contributing to the success of our local gins, and it’s something that should continue.
“With the number of distilleries growing at a rapid pace, we are going to see more and more hyper-local brands focusing on botanicals they can pick from their immediate surroundings, and within that, more and more distilleries are becoming welcoming places in their own right with exceptional bar programs (Naught gin, Four Pillars Gin Lab and Patient Wolf for example), encouraging locals to drink, eat and stay a bit rather than visit and tastings,” Ashford said.
The full list of Australian winners at the Gin Magazine Awards is below:
- Brand Innovator of the Year, Distiller of the Year: Four Pillars
- Master Distiller of the Year: Tim Boast, Never Never Distilling Co.
- World’s Best London Dry Gin: Never Never Distilling Co. – Export Force of Triple Juniper Gin
- World’s Best Navy Gin: Devil’s Thumb Distillery – Navy Strength Gin
- Hall of Fame Inductee: Philip Moore, Distillery Botanica
- Highly Recommended Sustainable Distillery of the Year: Cape Byron Distillery
- Highly Commended Master Distiller of the Year: Dave Withers, Archie Rose Distilling