Boatrocker Brewers & Distillers is a super innovative story that also happens to fold in one of our favourite distilleries from some years back.
The brewery was founded back in 2009 by Matt & Andrea Houghton. Their story of experimentation and innovation really informs who they are today and some of the exciting projects we look forward to seeing them release in the future.
Our focus is naturally more on the distilling side of their operation, but it’s pretty clear there are some huge advantages to having a brewery and distillery under one roof.
Joel Robertson is head distiller at Boatrocker, having joined in 2019 from Archie Rose. Before Archie, Joel was also involved in setting up The Art of Booze in Brisbane so knows a thing or two about distilling.
Even better, prior to finding his way into our favourite profession, Joel was a food scientist by training and profession. I think we’d all agree, this is more than a little useful in understanding how different botanicals combine in the creation of a quality gin. While flavour is one thing, chemical reactions and other ‘science stuff’ can make or break a product.
Since joining Boatrocker in 2019 Joel has taken on the task of bedding down Boatrocker’s core spirits range, while also beginning the experimentation and formulation of new spirits.
Being housed with a brewery who specialise in barrel aged beer, it’s probably no surprise whisky is firmly in its sights. It was interesting for us to also hear some of the innovations Joel is looking at on the gin side also.
While a large number of Australian gins are produced from a wheat based neutral spirit (only natural considering the scale of our wheat industry), as Joel points out there are many other cereal grains to play with.
Among others, Joel has a rye based spirit up his sleeve for gin production and some barrel aged gin in development. Ultimately it’s this innovative approach to spirits production and development that Joel thinks sets Australia apart in the spirits world.
Without some of the same rules that apply in other parts of the world, Joel sees Australia being able to define the category the way we want to… an exciting prospect for producers and drinkers alike. Boatrocker is clearly at the forefront of some of this innovation. Joel agrees that the variety of knowledge and skills housed at Boatrocker gives them a real advantage when it comes to experimenting with new ways of producing their products.
We’re looking forward to seeing new releases from Boatrocker in the future. In the meantime, read on for their Original Gin, our featured gin of the month.