As part of the National Liquor News Annual Industry Leaders Forum 2020 issue, we caught up with Cape Byron Distillery Co-founder Eddie Brook to hear about their incredible and sustainable growth in 2019, and how they will build on this in 2020.
National Liquor News: How was 2019 for Cape Byron Distillery?
Eddie Brook: 2019 was a big year for growth and rapid development for us at Cape Byron Distillery. We saw our company go from employing 15 people to 26, we doubled our volumes based on last calendar year, brought on additional export countries and started our whisky program…we are all in need for a drink and week or two off! Starting our whisky program with Jim McEwan was a major highlight and marked a new chapter for the distillery. To date we have produced 77 190 litre casks which is a great achievement and the spirit is exceptional.
NLN: After the release of Mac. in 2019, are you planning any other innovations using Australian botanicals or ingredients from the local area?
EB: We sure are. We are blessed with an abundance of incredible native Australian produce in Northern Rivers (greater Byron Bay region) and we get excited about showcasing native Australian produce and flavours in spirits that consumers have never tried.
In 2020 you will be seeing a number of different releases coming from Cape Byron Distillery showcasing some cool and tasty rare native ingredients so get your glasses ready!
NLN: What will be the focus for 2020?
EB: 2020 will be a year of infrastructure growth. In mid-2020 we will see our new sustainable rainforest whisky warehouse coming online which will give us the ability to increase our storage capacity. To match this added storage capacity, we will be increasing our production ability with a new much larger second still which will give us the ability for a 6-fold increase in distillation.
NLN: What are your spirits category predictions for 2020?
EB: In the next year we will be seeing some new innovative Australian whiskies hitting the market and this will be a great exciting dynamic to the Australian whisky market offering. Aside from that I can see that consumers will also continue to choose quality over quantity and will have a further vested interest in purchasing products that have a strong purpose and sense of locality. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2020 brings…Cheers!
Read more about Eddie Brooks’ insights into sustainability in the industry when the 2020 issue of National Liquor News Annual Industry Leaders Forum comes out in February.