In the 2021 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum, we caught up with George Georgiadis, Co-founder and Managing Director of Never Never Distilling Co.
Never Never Distilling Co. would never have predicted its 2020 would result in better accolades and business recognition than the great 2019 it had.
It won its first global trophy, World’s Best Classic Gin at the World Gin Awards 2019 in May and proceeded to take the global
gin industry by storm for the remainder of the year, racking up a number of other awards on the local and international stage.
Never Never jumped right into 2020 by launching its first travel retail exclusive product, Triple Juniper Gin Export Strength,
which would go on to be the first Australian gin to win one of the spirit world’s most coveted gin prizes, Best of Class at the San
Francisco World Spirits Competition. The 2020 campaign also continued back home, with the brand later winning Champion Australian Distillery at the 2020 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards.
“We’ve always been cautious and humble when it comes to awards, but at this point we’re confident and proud to say that we make Australia’s most highly awarded gins,” Co-founder and Managing Director George Georgiadis said.
“I think this comes from our relentless and fearless pursuit of excellence. We simply don’t want to put something in a bottle unless it’d be our favourite thing to drink in that category.”
Georgiadis said the timing for Never Never’s award success was crucial as the country went into lockdown in March 2020, giving the brand an edge throughout the rest of the year and driving success in other new releases. For example, Never Never produced a world first grenache gin that it named ‘Ginache’, that received an even stronger launch than its award-winning Triple Juniper Gin.
“I think this is the product everyone needed at the time. It’s absolutely delicious and looks amazing… It was our most successful launch yet, and this year we will move this product in to our core range and increase production by about seven times,” Georgiadis said.
With the additional launch of the Med Gin late last year, which has also performed exceptionally well, Georgiadis noted: “We really have to pinch ourselves when we look back on all the good things that happened in a year of such challenges.”
Those challenges came thick and fast early for Never Never, with the brand-new and year highlight opening of the distillery door dampened by a forced closure after only five weeks of trade. With the closure of bars, a core part of the Never Never supplier business, it was a difficult situation for the team. Georgiadis said this forced them to draw on their innovative natures and adapt quickly to the circumstances.
He said: “Through this time, we quickly realised that rather than retreating to a defensive position, the best thing to do was to re-focus our time and efforts on core brand and alternative channels.”
A holistic growth approach
Georgiadis said this year is all about sharing Never Never’s passion for gin with as many people as they can.
“That means really focusing on getting the word out about our gins, liquid on lips and showing people why we make Australia’s most highly awarded gins,” he explained.
“To do this we’ll need to grow our team from about 35 to over 50 staff over the next six months, which is really exciting. We’re a gin business first and foremost, but we like to have fun, stay creative and give the flavour seekers out there something new to enjoy.”
You can read this story and many more in the 2021 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum here.