Beer and wine are traditionally everyone’s most popular liquor of choice, but undeniably, there’s an emerging contender in the alcohol scene: gin.
Yes, gin is fast becoming the new black.
In Australia alone, there are over 170 gin distillers operating in the market. Here in South Australia, another local distiller, Adelaide Gin, is ready to steal the spotlight with their range of quality products that boast unique flavours of rose, lemon myrtle, and hints of lavender that are locally sourced from Kangaroo Island.
We chatted with Anthony Pasut, Adelaide Gin’s South Australian Account Manager, to learn more about this rising star.
Hey Paolo: What’s the history and inspiration behind the business?
Established in 2018, Adelaide Gin & The Australian Distilling Company was founded by Michael Hickinbotham. The Hickinbothams have a great family history in wine and spirit making. Michael has always been a massive fan of gins. He has always been attracted to its colourful history, flavour profile, and the sophistication of the drink.
Michael’s love for spirits, coupled with his love for his hometown (Adelaide), pushed him to establish Adelaide Gin. Enchanted by the artisanal and handcrafted elements of the entire distilling process, he sought the best advice from international & local producers. And after 12 months, he finally mastered his own gin recipe together with his team which was led by their master distiller, Dr. Graham Jones. The result is a gin that truly embodies the Adelaide spirit.
Graham is an award-winning distiller and one of the few people in Australia who truly understands the intricate art, science, and craft of distillation. Graham teaches distilling at the University of Adelaide for over 30 years now.
To ensure a premium quality product, he distills Adelaide Gin in an elegant 20-year-old Frilli Impianti Italian copper pot still.
Hey Paolo: What’s unique about the Adelaide Gin?
South Australia has a great range of locally made gins. What makes our gin so special is that we source our botanicals from local suppliers. Our premium base spirit comes from the Barossa Valley and the lavender used comes from Kangaroo Island. We create our product at the Waite Campus in Mitcham.
At present, Adelaide Gin has already won four (4) gold medals in international competitions.
Hey Paolo: How do you describe the profile of people who loves Adelaide Gin?
The best part about our gin is that it really brings a wide range of people together. We have people who love to celebrate the dynamic vibe of the city. They enjoy the way our gin captures the botanicals that are sourced from places such as Kangaroo Island and the Barrossa Valley, which hold special memories for most of them. We also have gin lovers who fall in love with the flavour and the story behind it. No matter who they are, they generally enjoy the company of people, they love celebrating life, and they enjoy embracing the fun spirit of Adelaide.
Hey Paolo: What are the main challenges of your business?
Like everyone, the changing liquor landscape is a challenge in itself. So many good products are out there in the market. We try to work with all our local distributors to keep our ear to the ground especially when it comes to new bars and restaurants that are opening up. We work with our new and existing customers in any way possible to help them sell our products and we hope that the people behind the bars also become our “brand ambassadors.”
As an Account Manager, I really value the relationships I have in the trade industry and I try to ensure that I approach every conversation I have with them as if I was the owner of the establishment. I believe 90% of my job is creating and maintaining relationships with my customers to ensure that they trust me to deliver results to their business and that they know that when hard times occur, they can count on me and our company to help them in any way possible.
Hey Paolo: What are the necessary changes you had to adapt during COVID-19?
As a small business, COVID-19 really impacted the plans we had in place for the first half of 2020. We had so many of our customers literally closing their doors overnight. We had such a strong presence in the bars then and we had to change our direction to focus on the bottleshops and retailers instead to give the customers the same experience in their homes. It was all about ensuring the people that wanted to drink our gin were able to do so in the comfort of their homes.
Hey Paolo: What’s the future of the South Australian gin industry?
That is the great unknown! It is such an exciting industry to be a part of and we are so lucky here in South Australia that we have such an amazing range of local gins. We continue to see more and more varieties of gin come into the market as companies play around barrel ageing or different distilling techniques. It is always a pleasure to go out in the city and try all the new gins that come out and I think we have a really good culture here in South Australia about getting behind the locals. Some of the best guys to work with in the industry are actually those who run their own distilling businesses because the passion we each share is infectious.