It’s always a pleasure to find a new distillery on our doorstep. Even more so when we’re unable to make some of our usual trips to distilleries further afield and interstate.
As soon as we heard Finders Distillery had launched just across the bridge in Sydney’s St Leonards, we took the opportunity to pop over for a chat and tasting.
Finders is modestly housed in a commercial estate just off the pacific highway. We love this type of urban distillery tucked amongst other businesses and high rise apartment blocks. There’s something inconspicuous about it, until that is, you walk through into the triple height space.
While the ‘cellar door’ space is a work in progress, the most important part, the tasting bar, is nearing completion as we write this.
In future as you walk in you’ll come across the impressive bar first, highlighted along with their 300l copper still, against the strikingly painted back wall. The deep blue green shade of their brand colour is a great backdrop and draws the eye even more to the relatively new and shiny still on which Finders gin is produced.
Owners Georgia and Kyle (distiller) literally sold their house to fund this distillery, so we had to discover what brought them to join this ever growing and diverse industry.
In one word the answer would be travel. A few years back the couple set out on an epic round the world trip. It seems everywhere they went, discovering more about the local culture inevitably lead them to, and exploration of, the local food and drink also.
From rice wine in China, sake in Japan and craft beer in Portland, to bourbon in Kentucky, pisco in South America, and whisk(e)y in Scotland and Ireland they ‘diligently’ tried it all. More than just enjoying the booze itself, for Kyle in particular, understanding how these drinks were produced was as exciting and interesting. In some instances he even found himself going back to producers again the next day to ask more questions and learn in greater detail.
The bug for the industry and interest in producing their own product had clearly been planted. In fact it was while they were holed up in their hotel room in Ireland that they made the call to begin their own distillery. They jumped on and registered the business there and then and the appropriately named Finders Distillery was born.
Appropriately named because it reflects the couple’s love of travel and exploring new sights, stories and flavours. In fact without giving too much away future releases from Finders will focus on places and locally sourced botanicals to create a unique series of gins – their Location Series.
We can’t wait to see what this involves, especially considering their first dry gin release which we’re bringing to Gin Lane this month.
Kyle tells us the recipe was a year and half in its development. Having been taken through some of the individual distillates that formed part of the development, we see where the time was taken. While 10 years in the RAAF instilled in Kyle the value of well-defined and rigorous processes, he explains it’s this that allows him to then indulge a creative flair on the distilling side. Not from a production perspective, where the rigour is key, but from a flavour and botanical perspective where experimentation and out of the box thinking can pay dividends in flavour and enjoyment.
While Kyle is busy on the production side of the distillery wife Georgia is flat out on the sales and marketing of Finders. Having worked with some of the largest e-commerce businesses, from the Iconic to more recently a large liquor retailer, she brings much valued expertise. Some of this is apparent in the beautiful branding and bold design of the distillery and their first release.
All in all, we’re excited to see where Finders Distillery goes from here. They have a clear plan for where they’re going and we’re excited to see and taste the releases in the Location Series as they eventuate.
If you’re a Sydney sider, or happen to be visiting in the future, we suggest swinging over to St Leonards for a visit. You won’t regret it and may even bump into us stocking up also.