By Clyde Mooney â€“ editor Australian Hotelier
Riding the wave or recognition for Tasmanian distillers, artisan brand William McHenry & Sons was recently awarded a gold medal at the prestigious American SIP awards in Dana Beach, California.
The 100-member judging panel of the Spirits International Prestige (SIP) event, which proclaims its mission to â€œcut to the core of public opinionâ€, tasted its way through a record 403 beverages across 28 categories.Â
William McHenry, based in the apple isleâ€™s idyllic Port Arthur, took the gold medal for its London Dry Gin, and is also the only distiller in Australia producing a Sloe Gin.
The distiller has also recently signed with Sydney-based â€œcraft distillerâ€ distributor, Nip Of Courage (NOC), which likens the global trend toward boutique and small-batch spirits to the evolution of craft beer in recent years. (continues below)
â€œCraft spirits are not for all pubs â€“ just like craft beer isn’t for all pubs,â€ NOC sales & marketing manager Kathleen Davies told TheShout.
â€œMost pubs these days can offer a lovely boutique wine or unique craft beer to customers who want to trade up, but an option for a unique spirit isn’t considered in most cases.Â
â€œThere are now approximately 50 craft distilleries in Australia, and that number is growing. The chains are introducing them, but largely the whole craft spirits movement in Australia is under-developed.â€
NOC appears to have developed a knack for picking the winners, with several of its stable brands enjoying widespread acclaim.
Bathurstâ€™s Stone Pine Distillery earned silver in the uber-competitive London Dry Gin category in the UK spirit awards, and Queenslandâ€™s Mt Uncle Distillery has received gongs for its rum, vodka, whisky and gin across a number of events.
Also, Tasmaniaâ€™s Belgrove Distillery â€“ the â€œgreenest distillery in the worldâ€ and one of only three globally to boast â€˜Paddock to Bottleâ€™ â€“ will soon release a world-first â€˜100% Peated Ryeâ€™.