EXPERIENCE, CULTURE & COMMUNITY
An environmental engineer and a HV electrician walk into a distillery… and never left. We are huge fans of Esperance Distillery Co. gin - it’s Cut and Run for the win. It’s not just the (incredible!) product that we resonate with; that’s just the start. As a design studio, it’s no surprise that the brand story is one that we admire. From the indigenous ingredients to iconic imagery, through to the soulful pop-ups and easy breezy hospitality. We explore why this emerging Aussie brand aligns so beautifully to both our ethos and approach of living, feeling brands – design you feel.
With quite literal community spirit - the gin is distilled using local native botanicals from Esperance, in fact the owner’s back yard - environmental conversation and a proud dedication to local, the Distillery showcases the unique, internationally significant diversity of Esperance. Known for its beaches of pristine white sands and picture-postcard blue ocean, the brand is a reflection of Esperance, of open skies, laid back hospitality and distinctly ‘Aussie’ surf culture.
Esperance locals, David and James, are a father/son entrepreneurial duo. David is the head distiller while James drives business development. David chanced upon a visit to a Distillery in King Island and was so taken by the process of distilling gin that he enrolled in a course at the University of Adelaide, before pitching the concept of a small craft gin distillery to James who had returned to their hometown of Esperance after almost twenty years working across Europe as an Environmental Engineer.
Esperance Distillery Co. produce gins distilled from local botanicals and flora. Cut and Run, their first gin, won Bronze at the 2021 Australian Distilled Spirit Awards (ASDA), and Gold at the 2021 Perth Royal Spirit Awards. Middle Island Pink is their second product, inspired by Lake Hillier a vibrantly pink lake on Middle Island in the Recherche Archipelago off the coast of Esperance.
It’s no secret that the gin market - and especially the craft gin market- is fiercely competitive. It’s also clearly growing as there are now over 700 distillers in Australia alone, as well as the global heavyweights. What’s incredibly fascinating to us is the fact that while there are plans a foot to grow production by way of a 200 litre still, they are intentionally small, and deeply committed to the concept of a craft product. When you consider that Australia in general, and Western Australia particularly is a land of extremes, of wide skies, of vast landscapes, this makes the idea of limited run products from a small (ie less than 50 litre still) quite novel - one of their WA counterparts distills their gin using the largest still in the southern hemisphere at over 4500 litres.
When we say Esperance Distillery Co is a locally-inspired, culturally connected brand we mean it. In fact, their first release of gin was distilled with foliage from the founders’ home garden. The brand works with local botanists and traditional owners to identify unique aromatic botanicals, many of which have never been used in foods before.
While the Distillery has an indelible local focus, they have huge plans to diversify and grow. To be an experience as well as a product, a conscious approach to sustainability and community, while embracing the opportunities and navigating the challenges that come with that delicate balance of driving growth alongside a remote sensibility. The brand is also working with Impact Seed on developing their social enterprise output, and is on track to become carbon negative by 2023.
All this talk of gin has us dreaming of Friday afternoon drinks - Cut and Run for us, please! Find out more about Esperance Distillery Co and follow them on Instagram. Their feed is sublime!