A View from Behind the Bar: 2015 Trends from Jenna Hemsworth

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Suggestions of trending Wine, Beer and Spirits from One of Australia’s Top 5 Bartenders, Jenna Hemsworth.

Across all categories, Australia is producing some of the world’s most exciting adult beverage brands. Whether it’s Tasmanian whisky, Victorian wine, or craft beer from Byron Bay, you are sure to find stellar local offerings from wineries, distilleries and breweries around the country.

As Australians search for their favourite new independent libations, bartenders offer some of the most in depth insight into the industry. They are tasting, experimenting and serving up new flavours developed to delight the palette and kindle the spirit. If you are lucky enough to call one of our country’s great bartenders your friend, then you are likely tasting something truly special on a daily basis.

We are excited to have had the oppurtunity to talk with Jenna Hemsworth – what better source to get updated on what’s going on in the Australian Industry than from one of Australia’s most loved bartenders?

Australia Trade Tasting gets exclusive tasting notes from Jenna Hemsworth, Diageo Reserve World Class Top 100 Bartenders (Top 5 in Australia), on some of Australia’s most exciting distilleries, breweries and wineries.

Mr Black

Mr Black is an interesting Coffee liqueur from Erina, NSW.

Cold drip coffee liqueur. Retains the taste of fresh espresso, rather than sweetening it up with vanillas and caramels, great for coffee lovers as it tastes closer to coffee than a liqueur. Not overly bitter, well-rounded liqueur.

Four Pillars:

Four Pillars is a Australian staple gin coming out the Yarra Valley, VIC. They have three gins on the market (their original gin, a barrel-aged gin and a navy strength gin).

Original gin utilises whole oranges in the distillation process, leaving a superbly fresh, light and vibrant distillate. Pepperberry leaf and lemon myrtle are wonderful native ingredients used to add a touch of Australian influence and modernity.

Aged gin is rested in ex-Chardonnay French oak barrels, mellowing the gin so it can be sipped over ice or neat and chilled.

Navy strength adds finger limes into the distillate and cuts the percentage of oranges in the distillate, raises the abv to 58.8% for an intense, citrusy and lively gin that goes perfectly into a fresh lime gimlet (my favourite with this gin!).

Overeem:

Overeem Whisky is from Old Hobart Distillery.

There are two  main offerings of Overeem: Sherry and port matured whiskeys aged in 100L ex-port French oak barrels (quarter cask) and Sherry-matured whiskey in ex-sherry French oak barrels, also quarter cask/100L. Both come in 43% and cask strength variances. Superbly balanced, rich and complex whiskeys- a great example of Australian whiskey production and one of my go-to Aussie whisky brands.

Belgrove:

Belgrove Whisky is a great Tasmanian Offering.

Peter Bignell creates his own biodiesel on site in order to grow and process his own rye to create his whiskey on site. They have a white rye (unaged) and aged rye, as well as two rare releases of an oat whiskey and peated rye. I can honestly say all four of these products are exceptional- I am a massive fan of rye whiskey and it can easily stand up to the American brands! It is a different taste however, in a category of its own.

Belgrove is a sustainable distillery and his spent mash is fed to his animals on his farm, which is pretty cool. Great balance of sweet/savoury/spice throughout the range, with the aged rye developing this superb complexity through the barrel ageing process.

Edge Brewing Project:

Edge Brewing is From North Melbourne, VIC.
There Cool Hops stands out. It is the most prevalent variety I have seen out and about.  It’s Sessionable, hop-forward and a true to style pilsner.
They also offer ‘Addiction’ (english pale ale), Angel of Zest (saison/farmhouse style), Angry Pirate (american pale ale), Ashes to Mashes Wattleseed stout (Export stout), Cool hops (german pilsner), Cryonic hops (American double/imperial pilsner), Southern Hemisphere IPA (american double/imperial IPA).  All of which trying are a bit harder to find, but worthy of a try when you get the chance.

Killer Sprocket:

Killer Sprocket was founded in 2012- from Cavalier brewing (West of Melbourne, VIC).

‘Bandit’ is style peated pale ale which has 10% peated malt in it. It’s a very interesting brew worth keeping your eye out for. Another one of their interesting offerings is an experimental American Pale Ale which they add juniper berries to. Their ‘Hey Juniper.’   has a distinctly piney taste.

Holgate Brew House

Holgate Brew House is located in Woodend, regional VIC.

Their Mt Macedon Pale Ale is a broadly appealing, easy drinking Pale Ale worthy of any summer day.

Road Trip is their American IPA) and is a really sessionable, super hoppy offering.
ESB (extra special bitter) is a classic, earthy, English bitter and is a good ‘pub beer.’
Temptress is thier chocolate porter and is INCREDIBLE. My favourite, it’s infused with Dutch cocoa and whole vanilla beans.
Pilsner is their german style lager. Light bodied, massive flavour, is an easy drinker. In fact it’s easy to get through the case.

Hopinator is their Double American IPA and something really special.  I used to drink this on tap regularly at a beer hall I used to work in…. massive, MASSIVE hops, big bold and bitter, all about flavour.

Stone and Wood Brewery

Stone and Wood Brewery is from Byron Bay, NSW.
They have three staples that should be a part of any beer lover’s rotation.  The first is Stone and Wood Pacific Ale which is easy to drink, very fruity with passion fruit aromas and crisp taste.
The Stone and Wood Lager is a great representation of a classic lager and can be drank at any time and with any food
Stone and Wood Jasper Ale is a mash-up of German alt, American Amber ale and English brown ale.  It’s a big winter beer, with a spicy bitterness.

Feral Brewing Company:

Feral Brewery is from the Swan Valley, near Perth, WA.
Feral white is a witbeer made in the traditional Belgium style of 50% wheat, 50% barley and with a Belgium yeast strain.
Hop Hog is an American IPA that I love and certainly worth an order. Aggressively bitter, pine notes. It’s one for a real beer lover.
Golden Ace Golden Ale has a distinct citrus flavor and is brewed with Japanese bred Sorachi Ace hops providing for an interesting variation.

Gapstead Wines:

Gapstead Wines are From King Alpine Valleys, VIC.

A very interesting winery dabbling in a large selection of varietals: Cab sauv, Durif, Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauv Blanc, Sparkling Chardonnay/Pinot Noir, Dolcetto syrah, Moscato, Rosa moscato, Pinot grigio, Sauv blanc, Saperavi, Tempranillo, Barbera, Petit Manseng, Fiano.

They have won over 100 different medals and trophies for their wines and their
Victorian alps winery has a restaurant boasting great food and wine pairings. They use local produce to match their cool climate wines and offer an amazing menu.

About Jenna Hemsworth

Jenna is a well-respected bartender in the Australian hospitality scene. uShe has worked in esteemed Melbourne venues such as Eau De Vie Melbourne, Cookie, Kodiak Club and Bad Frankie.  She placed in the Top 5 in Australia in the World Class bartending competition 2014, held by Diageo, and Top 8 in Australia in the Australian Bartender of the Year competition 2014 held by Australian Bartender Magazine. She is also a regular competitor on a national stage, having achieved placing positions in various national competitions.
Jenna has worked closely with, and developed an adept knowledge of Australian spirits in her position at Bad Frankie bar, who solely stock local spirits from around Australia. She has a strong knowledge of spirits from around the world, cocktails, beer and wine.Jenna was a judge for the 2014 Melbourne International Spirits Competition.

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Are you an Australian beer, wine or spirits distributor looking to source new products for your portfolio?  Get Involved at Australia Trade Tasting and network with trending wineries, breweries and distilleries in 2015.

Australian Brewery – National Pride and Canned Craft Beer

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Australia Trade Tasting Profiles Craft Beer exhibitor Australian Brewery.

Founded in 2010, Australian Brewery is a state of the art facility full of clean, sleek stainless steal.  The brew room is quite impressive and makes you wonder if it was built to reflect their dedication to canning, a signature characteristic of Australian Brewery.

Australian quickly gained market traction as their line-up of unique canned beers won multiple awards and their dedication to building a fan base of die-hard consumers won them support around the country. From it’s canning line to it’s front office, the brewery is purpose built to produce some of Australia’s choice beers and ciders.

We had the chance to talk with Australian Brewery owner Marcello Colisimo on the rapid rise of Australian Brewery and his plans for it’s future.

Why is it that Australian Brewery strictly cans their beer and cider line-up?

It was an easy decision really, as a craft Brewer you are always
looking for the ways to ensure your beer remains as fresh as possible
for as long as possible. I mean in an ideal world everybody would be
drinking straight from our tanks, but after extensive research the next
best option was to package in cans. Zero light (preventing UV light
breaking down the delicate flavours.) Less oxygen pickup during
packaging than bottles and no oxygen leaks once inside (unlike bottles.)
Not applicable to taste but important to us as a company is the
environmental benefit, cans are lighter so leave a smaller carbon
footprint and have a higher recycling rate than bottles. So all-in-all,
cans were an easy choice for protecting our award winning beers.

Tell us more about the Canbassador competition, what was the overall response from your audience?  It looks like you guys really boosted your brand recognition with the program.

Canbassador for us was about educating consumers on the benefits of
cans and connecting to a key target demographic of a young, creative,
socially engaged craft beer drinker. In a cluttered Australian craft
beer market it had an overwhelming response, converting casual drinkers
into passionate supporters of our beers and brand.

Australian Brewery takes part in a lot of local and national events.  What message do you guys try and get out into the world when you are exhibiting?

Part of being a micro – craft brewery is about getting in consumers
faces and having them taste our beers. We have one of the highest medal
rates of any brewery in the country with champions trophies, and many
best in class awards; including two this year for our Pale Ale (Best in
class Australian Pale Ale CBIA / AIBA.) So we know customers will love
it, we just need to let them taste it. And the easiest way of getting in
front of a lot of people at once is trade shows and exhibitions. It also
helps that consumers at these events are already engaged.

You also spend a lot of time doing tasting at retail accounts – what do you find works best building support in your distribution channels?

As a small producer we don’t have the ability to provide rebates to
lock in stockists and tap share like the big multi nationals. So we have
to get pretty creative with our accounts. Tastings are very important
and we run them weekly, but we also offer staff incentives etc. However
what works best, and what we love to do the most is to bring the venues
staff out to the Brewery for lunch, a brewery tour and of course beers
with our head brewer. This gives the staff the confidence to sell our
products. In our experience if the staff love it, they will pass that on
to consumers.

How are you planning on taking advantage of your presence at Australia Trade Tasting?

We have begun exporting our beers to Japan with quite a lot of success.

The next stage of our distribution is to take this further with an eye
to meet distributors for other Asian countries and America. We are also
looking to boost our national distribution in Australia. AuTT looks to
be a great place to connect with a variety of industry leaders in the
distribution game.

Australian Brewery has built a successful national brand over the course of a few years. As they continue to grow and build markets around the world, they will be spreading their passion for their namesake country.  They’ve put themselves in an exciting position to represent both Australia and craft beer together and are poised to be a bright spot in the industry for decades to come.

AuTT_Banner_Wine_MagAre you a beer distributor looking to source new and innovative Australian craft beers? Get Involved at Australia Trade Tasting.

Melbourne Gin Company: How a Local Craft Distillery Found a National Following.

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How Andrew Marks’ passion gave Melbourne’s favourite local distillery, Melbourne Gin Company (MGC), a national home.

In many ways, The Melbourne Gin Company’s success is a product of it’s honest branding.  The classic bottle and bold, lower-case branding – mgc – has become iconic on bar rails across the country. Even though every bottle abides by simplistic marketing and spartan branding, the brand is anything but forgettable. Every time you see a bottle it subtly reminds you, “Oh, You forgot about me did you? Go on, dabble again.”

AuTT interviews Andrew Marks and gets insight into the road that MGC traveled to go national.

Andrew Marks created the Melbourne Gin Company with one idea in mind – to produce great gin.  He didn’t start out with a business plan or any gimmicks to get people on board, he just wanted to produce a gin that he was proud to label ‘Melbourne Gin Company.’   True to his desire, Andrew kept at work and experimented with countless ingredients until he perfected his gin.

Today he offers gin lovers a taste of his passion as MGC, a blend of juniper, sandalwood, orange and grapefruit peel distilates, (as well as a few others!) that make MGC a balanced, earthy bodied gin full of citric aromas and lingering herbal aromatics.

1.  MGC is proud of their origins.  Was it hard finding recognition outside of Melbourne?

Melbourne is a cultural melting pot, internationally recognized for its cosmopolitan forward thinking lifestyle. People around Australia and further afield understand that and we have found that, along with great production values, everybody is ready to embrace a product that encapsulates the idea of a bringing people and cultures together.  We’ve had such a great response across Australia and we couldn’t be more proud of our product and it’s origin.

2.  What are some of the more successful support strategies you guys have used to build your brand?

We have an online presence through social media that works wonders at connecting with the consumer.  Our team is tirelessly, communicating and giving back as much energy as we receive from our devoted fans.

At the MGC we believe that giving back to the community is extremely important.  We have been involved with the sponsorship of many local events, which reach a broad cross section of the community, as well as lots of events and charitable shows. It has been great aligning the MGC with organisations and businesses that share a common ethos and we try our hardest to find worthy partners ready to share in our passions.

3.  What do you think it is about MGC that draws the attention of the consumer?

At first, it’s the clean lines of our classic design, and clear strong branding, but the litmus test (pardon the distiller trade talk) really is the taste of the product. We spent a year developing the flavour profile and recipe.  If people buy a second bottle it is because it tastes good, not because of the branding.

4.  Micro-distilleries, and the craft industry as a whole, have really become popular. What shape do you see the market taking in the next five years and what advice do you have for small and medium sized distilleries trying to find a healthy niche moving forward?

The market is morphing as we speak. It is a very exciting space to be a part of right now. The market will continue to develop and offer many interesting and different products.  There will be some that catch the consumer strictly based on the branding and others that offer truly unique varieties.  If consumers speak loud enough, there is no limit to where the distillers will go and what they will come up with.  I think the main focus for us, as distillers, is to ensure that our products continue to taste good.

The Melbourne Gin Company has grown from a singular beginning. Every bottle proves itself a testament to Andrew’s dedication to his trade and MGC’s growth and popularity comes on the back of his vision to make his passion into a reality. The next time you go and pick up a bottle of MGC, remember Andrew’s credo, “If people buy a second bottle it’s because it tastes good.”

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Are you an adult beverage brand importer, distributor or wholesaler looking to source craft distilleries for your portfolio?  Get Involved at Australia Trade Tasting and connect with innovative new Aussie brands.

 

Whisky Distilleries in Australia

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This is the first part (A-L) of a complete list of Australian Whiskies.

Bakery Hill

As with all classic single malt whiskies, Bakery Hill Distillery use only malted barley, yeast and water to ensure the true classic flavour and aroma of real single malt whisky.

Bakery Hill believes the addition of caramel dulls and mutes the exceptionally fine flavour and nose of malts so, nlike many other malt whiskies, no caramel is added to improve the appearance.

1/20 Gatwick Rd
Nth Bayswater Victoria 3153
Phone: +61 3 9761 7216, Fax: +61 3 9761 7216, Contact David Baker directly on 0408 705 770

Belgrove Distillery

The Belgrove Distillery is the only Rye Distillery in Australia. Located North of Hobart, Belgrove Distillery is also the only biodiesel powered distillery in the world and one of very few Whisky distilleries that grows all its own grain, malts, ferments, distills and barrel ages on site.

The copper still was handmade from scratch. Belgrove takes pride in it’s dedication to quality products and sustainable production.

3121 Midland Highway, Kempton, Tasmania Australia 7030.
Mob  0409 144 560   |   Int +61 409 144 560

Black Gate Distillery

The Black Gate Distillery  make high quality spirits from local grains and fruits, while providing a unique tasting experience for enthusiasts and the overtly curious.

They operate an online store and produce three spirits: Quandong Liqueur; Lemon Vodka; and Lime Vodka. They are open for visits by appointment.

72 Forest Road, MENDOORAN NSW Australia 2842 

Tel. 02 6886 1123, Mob. 0429 978 822

Bluestill Distillery

Bluestill Distillery offers a great line-up of diverse spirits:

James Bentley – Whisky, Black Widow – Bourbon, Red Kelpie – Sweet Dark Rum, Trafalgar – Gin, Young Drop – Brandy, Double Up – Vodka, Chiapas – Tequila, Young Drop – Slivovitz, Young Drop – Grappa, Black Widow Bourbon and Cola RTD’s.

They also have a restaurant which can seat up to 90 people. With panoramic views of the township of Young, you can enjoy country-style cuisine, either indoors or al fresco.

Kingsvale to 161 Henry Lawson Way, township of Young, info@bluestill.com.au, Phone +61 2 6382 2200
Fax No  +61 2 6382 4170

Great Southern Distilling Company (Limeburners Single Malt Whisky)

Great Southern Distilling Company is a boutique distillery, producing premium quality spirits using time honoured techniques and traditional copper pot stills. They are also Home of the Nationally and Internationally awarded Limeburners Single Malt Whisky.

Limeburners Whisky is produced and bottled by hand. By world standards they are a tiny operation… which is the way they like it.

Cellar Door and Distillery
252 Frenchman Bay Rd, Robinson, Albany, WA 6330
E-mail: 
manager@distillery.com.au
Phone:   +61 8 9842 5363    

Mailing Address 
PO Box 1597,  Albany WA 6331

Marketing and Distribution
E-mail: 
brent@distillery.com.au 

Hellyers Road Distillery

Hellyers Road is Australia’s largest single malt whisky distillery, but they really don’t feel that big. They think big and act big, but when compared to Europe’s finest, they’re actually quite small. And that’s good, because it keeps them trying hard to produce Australia’s very best single malt whiskies..

Address: 153 Old Surrey Road, (PO BOX 1415), Burnie, Tasmania 7320, Australia.

Phone : 03 6433 0439

Int’l : +61 3 6433 0439

Fax : +61 3 6433 1094

Email : sales@hellyersroaddistillery.com.au 

Joadja Whisky Distillery

Joadja Whisky Distillery is located in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia. The town of Joadja was established in the late 1870’s by the Austrailian Kerosene Oil and Mineral Co. and the hundreds of Scottish oil shale miners who brought with them their skills in the mining and retorting techniques……  and the stilling of “sly grog.”

1760 Joadja Road, Joadja, New South Wales, 2575 Australia.

(02) 4878-5129, info@joadjawhisky.com.au

Lark Distillery

Lark Distillery is an Australian single malt whisky, proudly unique in character and style, crafted in small batches exclusively from pure Tasmanian ingredients, matured in small barrels, hand-bottled by whisky lovers in Tasmania for whisky lovers world-wide.

40 Denholms Road, Cambridge, Tasmania, 7170, Australia.

Phone (03) 6321 9088 Fax (03) 6231 9082

Are you looking to source new Australian Whisky Distillers? Come and network with unique Australian distilleries ready to do business at Australia Trade Tasting.

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