Each year the Australian Distillers’ Association hold its national conference in a different location around Australia. It consists of two full days and a great deal of fun. One day is usually dedicated to developing professional knowledge and keeping abreast of new industry developments and practices, while the second day is an exploration day. Distillers and industry professionals are piled onto three or four buses to visit local distilleries and enjoy time together in a more relaxed format. To be truthful while I enjoy both days, the one I most look forward to is the distillery tour day. It is usually one full of surprises, characters and inspiration. This year we were fortunate to visit three very different distilleries – beginning with a visit to Husk Distillers.
Embraced by the hill behind and overlooking the Tweed River, Husk Distillery is beautifully positioned to capture rural and river views. This carefully designed distillery was based on production process and was completed earlier this year.
The thing I love most, is the way the history of the distillery’s humble beginnings is incorporated within its new surroundings. The small tin shed used initially for distilling, now perched at the top of the hill, oversees the new complex and the original still has pride of place at the edge of the cellar door. These combined with beautiful black and white photos on display are little reminders of the significance of humble beginnings and the importance of taking small steps forward in order to reach higher goals and dreams.
As Australia’s first Agricole Rum distillery, Husk is uniquely placed to be able to grow, crush, ferment and distil their spirit on site to create a more delicate distinctive style rum that speaks of place. From paddock to bottle, all aspects of production are controlled on the farm. Wherever possible the majority of waste from the production process either goes into feed for some very happy cows or to into the composting process that is eventually used elsewhere on the farm.
The Messenger family’s achievements and vision for the future are truly inspiring!