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Australian whisky innovation with Archie Rose Distilling Co's Dave Withers

Archie Rose Distilling may be best known for gin, vodka and other weird and wonderful products, none moreso than ArchieMite, its buttered toast spirit. But in this episode, master distiller Dave Withers joins me predominately to discuss their ambitious plans for whisky. Australian whisky to date has been dominated by single barrel, single malt releases aged in ex-wine casks. With its first two releases, Chocolate Rye Malt Whisky and Rye Malt Whisky, Archie Rose has made it abundantly...


Green Ant Gin and Native Grain Whiskey with Adelaide Hills Distillery's Sacha La Forgia

Celebrating native Australian foods, Adelaide Hills Distillery has released a raft of innovative products. These include Green Ant Gin and more recently, Native Grain Whiskey, which explores the potential of making truly Australian whisky using the native cereal grain wattleseed. I'm joined this episode by distillery founder, Sacha La Forgia, a winemaker who travelled the world for over six years working wine vintages and exploring the world of distilling. His travels inspired him to...


Canned wine trend is coming to Australia, says Tom O'Donnell of Riot Wine Co

Wine packaging is getting a revamp, thanks to Tom O'Donnell of Riot Wine Co. In 2016, O'Donnell co-founded the Adelaide, Australia-based company Riot, which releases its wines exclusively in cans and in kegs. Riot wines have been pouring on tap at bars and restaurants across Australia since 2017, which the Riot founders claim has a range of benefits, starting with the environmental impact – the lifetime of just one keg can replace 23,000 bottles. Riot also hopes to educate Australians on...


Boatrocker Brewers & Distillers' Matt Houghton on a decade of eclectic drinks

Boatrocker today is home to one of the largest barrel ageing facilities in Australian brewing, which you can visit at Braeside in Melbourne's south east. Founded in 2009 by Matt and Andrea Howton, the brewery is undoubtedly making some of the country's finest examples of sour and strong ales, while also excelling at the more commonly available lagers, pale ales and IPAs. And in 2017, the Boatrocker Brewing became Boatrocker Brewers & Distillers, as the Perth-based distillery Hippocampus...


Wynns Coonawarra Estate winemaker Sue Hodder on Black Label Cabernet & more

One of Australia's best known winemakers, Sue Hodder of Wynns Coonawarra Estate, joins us this episode. Sue has just completed her 27th vintage at Wynns, where she oversees production of some of Australia's most cellared wines, including Black Label Cabernet. Together with Wynns' renowned viticulturist, Allen Jenkins, Sue has transformed the quality, and subtly redefined the style of the company's flagship Coonawarra reds. Sue and Allen were joint winners of the 2010 Gourmet Traveller...


Australian whisky pioneer Bakery Hill Distillery celebrates 20 years

Founded in 1999, Bakery Hill was the first whisky distillery on the mainland, and the third to open in the modern era after the celebrated Tasmanian distilleries Lark and Sullivans Cove. Located in Melbourne's north east, Bakery Hill might be lesser known today than these brands. But that's certainly not down to the quality of its whiskies, which have received consistent acclaim from critics across the globe. I visited David for a chat about their journey to date, and to hear some...


Four Pillars' Cam Mackenzie on creating a global gin brand

Australian distiller Four Pillars expects to sell 500,000 bottles of its gin in 2019. Founded in in 2013 by Cameron Mackenzie, Matt Jones and Stuart Gregor, the company has doubled its sales year on year and its products are now available in 30 different markets globally. This rapid growth did not go unnoticed by some of the drinks industry's larger players. In early 2019, Four Pillars sold a 50 per cent stake in its business to brewer Lion, the company behind XXXX, Tooheys, Little...


Cocktail historian Jared Brown on highballs, vermouth, Brexit and more

Sipsmith Gin master distiller Jared Brown joins me in this Season Two finale episode. But we're not talking about Sipsmith this time (see S1E2 for that!) , because Jared has another, far more interesting title, that of cocktail historian. With his wife Anistatia Miller, Jared has written more than 30 books on drinks, bars and cocktails. He's an absolute encyclopaedia on these topics and a fascinating fellow to chat to, so settle in for a great interview. As mentioned, this is the last...


Drinks Adventures Podcoasters out now

‘Drinks In The Sun’ is a limited edition set of hardboard coasters featuring specially commissioned artworks by Barry Patenaude of @beersinthesun. There are only 100 sets of these ‘podcoasters’, as we call them. Each set contains four hardboard, cork-backed coasters with a glossy finish showing off Barry’s specially commissioned illustrations. By purchasing a set of podcoasters you’ll be supporting us to keep producing Drinks Adventures, and you’ll have some awesome limited edition drink...


Australian whisky must strive for consistency and quality, says Andrew Derbidge

In this episode of the Drinks Adventures podcast I speak to Andrew Derbidge, who is director and cellarmaster for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society Australia. Andrew is, in his own words, a whisky tragic who has been heavily involved in the industry for many years as an educator, presenter and writer. Some of his excellent writing is on his own website Whisky & Wisdom, which is where I happened across a really insightful article by Andrew about the evolution of Australian whisky and some of...


Drinks get weird as brewers, winemakers and distillers collaborate

Hi everyone and welcome back to the show. This week, we take a look at some of the exciting collaborations that are happening on the fringes of beer, wine and spirits. Brix Distillers is a rum distillery that opened in Sydney in 2018. And they are trying to re-educate Australians about the potential of rum, which – as I discussed with Kathleen Davies two episodes ago – is somewhat misunderstood in this country. They're also trying to make uniquely Australian rums aged in barrels supplied...


Fifty years of making gin: Beefeater master distiller Desmond Payne MBE

This week on the podcast we're joined with a gentleman who may well have been distilling gin before you were even born. In 2017, Beefeater Gin master distiller Desmond Payne celebrated his 50th year as a gin distiller and he's still going strong today. I caught up with Desmond while he was in Australia recently to have a chat about his career to date and the many changes he's seen in the gin category over that time. Desmond truly is a legend of the gin industry and I hope you enjoy our...


Australian craft spirits with Nip of Courage founder Kathleen Davies

Kathleen Davies joins us in this instalment of Drinks Adventures, for a chat about Australian craft spirits and her distribution business Nip of Courage. Founded in 2014, Nip of Courage is the first ever distributor to represent exclusively Australian craft spirits, and the country's first spirits distribution company that is female-owned. ​Today the company represents four distilleries: Belgrove in Tasmania, Stone Pine in NSW, and two distilleries in Victoria; Reed & Co and Timboon...


Tasmanian adventures: Bruny Island Beer, Sailor Seeks Horse Pinot Noir

In this episode, I play a couple of interviews from my visit to Tasmania last year. The Tasmanian drinks scene has absolutely exploded in recent decades. In season one I talked Tassie whisky with Sullivans Cove Distillery, and cider with Willie Smith's Cider. This time I explore the unique brewing operation of Bruny Island Beer and Cheese with head brewer Evan Hunter. I also catch up with Paul Lipscombe of Sailor Seeks Horse, an exciting new wine company located in Tasmania's Huon...


Japanese sake with experts John Gauntner and Shuso Imada

In this episode we're diving back into the world of Japanese sake, which we explored in the very first episode of Season One. This time I've got two interviews to share with you from my time in Japan earlier this year doing a sake press tour with the Japanese Sake & Shochu Makers Association. First up is a chat with John Gauntner, who is recognised as the world's leading non-Japanese sake expert. A resident of Japan since 1988, he has been writing and lecturing about sake since 1994 and...


Stone & Wood Brewing leads third wave of independent craft beer

We kick off season two of the Drinks Adventures podcast with a in-depth look at the brewery founded in Byron Bay, Australia in 2008, Stone & Wood Brewing Company. Stone and Wood celebrated its tenth anniversary last year and I started covering drinks as a journalist not long after Stone & Wood started brewing. As such, I've followed their evolution very closely over the years, reporting on their key milestones along the way, which has given me a lot of insight into their business and some...


Returning May 2019: Drinks Adventures

Season Two of Drinks Adventures will launch in April with a in-depth look at Stone & Wood Brewing Company and the Australian independent brewing sector. Also in this season, an interview with Beefeater master distiller Desmond Payne MBE, who will notch up his 52nd year as a gin distiller in 2019. We'll take at look at farm-based brewing, Tasmanian pinot noir and Australian craft spirits in various guises. And in Tokyo, we catch up with John Gauntner, the only non-Japanese certified Master...


Cricket great Sir Ian Botham on his new winemaking venture, Botham Wines

A brief return from our hiatus, lured by the opportunity to interview cricket great Sir Ian Botham about his new winemaking venture, Botham Wines. Celebrity-branded drinks have had a chequered history, to say the least. Look no further than Shane Warne's ill-fated forays into wine (Shane Warne Collection) and craft beer (99 Not Out). It was for this reason that I approached the launch of Sir Ian Botham Wines with a healthy scepticism. But Sir Ian is deadly serious about his new career, as...


Inside the Vin de Champagne Awards, plus Champagne Lanson chef de cave Hervé Dantan

We're going out with a pop in this final episode of Season One of the Drinks Adventures podcast. Yes, this week we're delving into all things champagne in Australia, where it's fair to say we absolutely love our champagne. Despite our small population we are the world’s sixth largest champagne market, with the biggest consumption per head of population outside Europe, and our imports of champagne have grown tenfold since 2001. First up this episode, I take a look at the Vin de Champagne...


Heather Tillott of Sullivans Cove Distillery on making world-beating whisky

This week on the Drinks Adventures podcast I play a conversation with Heather Tillott, production manager at Sullivans Cove Distillery in Tasmania. If you have any awareness of Australian whisky you've surely heard of Sullivans Cove, known internationally for some of the incredible accolades it's won in the last few years. In March 2018, Sullivans Cove won World's Best Single Cask Single Malt at the highly prestigious World Whiskies Awards. This followed the distiller's French Oak...