The Story Behind Reed & Co Distillery

The Story Behind Reed & Co Distillery
February 8, 2018 Gin Lane

Chefs Hamish and Rachel were quite happy running their own restaurants and exploring new and exciting food flavours. They were already using the distilling process to create flavoured oils and this naturally led to Hamish wanting to distil gin for personal use. After all, how much time could it take?

Some time after, and with the gin distilling proving to be more interesting and involved than they realised, the couple decided to close their restaurants and focus on gin.

As chefs based in the alpine region of Victoria, you want to make something unique and authentic. Hamish and Rachel decided to play to their strengths – both the location and their skill set. Rather than prioritising ingredients, they focused on flavour; sometimes combining several different variants of an ingredient to create a more “complete” flavour experience.

“It all depends on the season and the flavour you are going for,” says Hamish.” For example, if we are looking for a refreshing lime taste, rather than just using limes, we will start with the flavour we want and then perhaps combine fruit from different regions or perhaps younger fruit to get that outcome.”

It’s this prioritising of flavour that makes their debut release, “Remedy Gin” so wonderful; that, and a label that is decidedly unique.

Meanwhile, the distillery is a delightful surprise for those who choose to venture to the town of Bright. Surrounded by national parks and alpine views that are unmatched anywhere in Australia, the distillery is a cross between an exclusive dining experience, a traditional bar and a café style restaurant. Rachel and Hamish have decided to remain true to their foodie roots and have combined their distillery door with a 20 seat restaurant, catering to those who want an authentic taste of Alpine Australia, or just something delicious, created by a chef, to go with their gin. Also, Hamish and Rachel have opened the space to a café, so from early morning until late at night, there is always something to drink.

“You can come in for a drink, a bite to eat, tasting or just to grab a cup of coffee if you like,” says Hamish. “And you can see the still while you are sitting in the restaurant.”

And will Reed and Co. move into whiskey?

“Everyone asks us that, and I love drinking whiskey,” says Hamish. “But you can’t control the flavour in the same way as you can with gin. As chefs, we want to be combining unique ingredients to give people a taste of the region and of us as distillers. We work hard to produce those flavours; experimenting with different combinations and variations in order to get the desired result. We are a gin distillery through and through.”

And with a new version called “Black Remedy” in the works, we can assume that the bold, and peppery original Remedy will have an aggressive younger sibling.

“We will just focus on the flavours,” says Hamish, not giving anything away just yet.

On release day, we will be waiting at the distillery door with a coffee.

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