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Byron Shire
September 30, 2023

A spirited awardee and a newbie

Latest News

Feros responds to Expression of Interest announcement

The announcement earlier today that the Minister for Crown Lands, Steve Kamper, started the Expressions of Interest (EOI) process for Feros Village Byron Bay has drawn a response from the Feros Care board that still sees the facility in terms of a 'closure'. 

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Feros slaps ban on media visits

On Saturday, on the way to visit Feros Byron Bay residents, The Echo was told via text and email from a Feros Care media spokesperson that, ‘Unfortunately we have a policy of no media on site.

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Story and photos by Vivienne Pearson

You might have heard about the blue gin that turns pink. But have you heard about the rum that is produced in the same northern rivers distillery?

Husk Distillers are located in Tumbulgum, a region as beautiful as the gin. The keys to the local beauty are the Tweed River and Wollumbin (Mount Warning). The secret of the gorgeous gin is butterfly pea flowers, which give the blue colour as well as its capacity as an acid-base indicator – remember litmus tests from high-school chemistry? Lemon and lime juice, as well as tonic water, are options for providing the acidity that turns the gin pink.

A fortnight ago, Ink Gin won Best Innovation in the spirits category at the Australian Drinks Awards.

The rum is also different. ‘Ninety-nine per cent of rum is made from molasses,’ says Harriet Messenger, Paul’s daughter and Husk’s marketing and sales manager. ‘We are the only ones in Australia, and one of the few in the world, who make rum from sugar cane.’

Literally hot off the still (it was first available yesterday) is an un-aged (and therefore white) rum called Pure Cane. If you’re interested in trying it, you’d better get in quick, as Husk’s aged rum (also an awardee), released last year, sold out in three days.

Husk aims to be a sustainable distillery. This doesn’t mean that it will produce sufficient alcohol to sustain you through an entire night out. It means that Husk actively minimises the effect of their production on the environment.

In practice, this means growing cane within a short walk of the distillery, using the bagasse (the fibrous part of cane) to mulch new rainforest plantings, and having cows, which eat the left-over bits of the botanicals used to make gin as well as the yeasty distilling waste, which is wonderfully high in protein.

Plans are afoot for you to be able to see all for yourself, thanks to building works to enlarge the distillery as well to create a tasting room, cafe and information/museum area.

In the meantime, you can think of cows, cane and chemistry as you sip some award-winning, locally produced gin or some brand-new rum.

Info: Ink Gin can be found at every independent bottleshop in the northern rivers, Dan Murphy’s, online (huskdistillers.com) and in locally made cocktails. The new Pure Cane rum is available online and will gradually make its way into bottleshops and cocktails.


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A win for Feros Village Byron Bay residents

A whole community can expel a sigh of relief at the breaking news that months of distress and sadness can now become part of history – this morning the Minister for Crown Lands, Steve Kamper, has announced that services providers for aged care are advised that Expressions of Interest (EOI) are now open for Feros Village Byron Bay.

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