The Gindu story actually begins with Lindsay’s recent judging experience at the 2021 Australian Gin Awards.
Always keen to bring the best and newest gins to Gin Lane members, the awards almost always turn up some gin gold (pun intended)! Even better is the gin that seemingly comes out of nowhere to surprise and delight the judges, who let’s face it, come across hundreds of gins a year.
Such was the case with Ester Spirits last year, who’s navy strength took out best in show. This year the surprise came in the form of Gindu’s (short for Gin Down Under) Australian Dry Gin, a gin that may never have seen the light, if it wasn’t for the covid pandemic. We’re naturally adverse to saying anything good has come out of the past two years, much of it has indeed been tragic.
What does often spring from periods of extreme adversity, is creative ways to respond to them. The Gindu team was particularly hard hit in a work sense. Coming from the travel and tourism industry, they suddenly found themselves cut off from their regular work life. More importantly they found themselves with time on their hands. Travel people tend not to be comfortable being still for too long!
With a shared passion for gin, they quickly landed on the idea of developing and releasing a product. Key to their vision was a gin that could really reflect their experience in travel. They wanted to showcase Australian landscapes and the botanicals that come from them.
With one of the team having worked as a tour guide throughout Australia for over 20 years, there was no shortage of knowledge to draw from. Another colleague who worked as an outback chef lent valuable experience to selecting botanical and flavour pairings.
Much like the elements experienced across Australia, the team were held to ransom somewhat by the seasonality and availability of local botanicals.
There’s a reason why many gins across it’s long history have featured many of the same botanicals in their mix. Quantity, quality and consistency are everything and Gindu only use two non-native botanicals in their mix.
The hurdles to Gindu’s launch kept mounting; a global juniper shortage, a local seasonal pepperberry shortage and labels held up with supply chain delays. In what would have to be any small businesses worst nightmare was the news a ship had become stuck in the Suez Canal…with their bottles one of the goods onboard!
Talking to Matt, one of the team at Gindu, he was pretty philosophical about these challenges. They mirror many of those the travel industry faces in Australia on a regular basis. Delays, products being unavailable and the need to just work with what you can get is commonplace. For Gindu they feel these are what makes their gin uniquely Australian and special.
With Australia slowly opening up internally and soon nationally also, the team have some new challenges on their plate. Matt freely admits that their recent award win has generated huge interest in their brand they hadn’t necessarily counted on so soon.
The problems of demand and scale are probably more welcome than not. Gindu will shortly find it’s new home in Victoria’s Macedon ranges, although when production will fully switch from their temporary home in Melbourne, is yet to be confirmed.
The expectation is some of the team will continue to focus on Gindu, while others will find themselves occupied again with showing new visitors around the country. We for one could see ourselves sipping on some Gindu under an outback sky! The unique experience the team have in two industries now, should make for a formidable basis for growth.
New products are naturally being worked on and you can rest assured we’ll be first in line to check them out as they come to market!