I know, you can’t do it, so why am I talking about it now? If you’re a local, and you haven’t done it, I’d thoroughly recommend taking the Brookies tour as soon as lockdown breaks.
Our backyard has Davidson plums (showcased in Brookie’s reddish Byron Slow Gin), and a few other native foods, and I didn’t think that I would necessarily learn anything new. But such is the knowledge of their guides, I found my whole trip a few weeks ago, through their regenerated rainforest which supplies the botanicals for their famous Brookies Gin, really interesting. And I appreciated what the Brooks have done even more, seeing the photos of the previously bare paddocks.
The real eye-opener for me was tasting the gins, neat, with the scent of the raw botanicals still on my hands. It’s not the way I normally drink gin (and I did have an excellent cocktail at the end of the tour), and I don’t have a great nose, but in the guided session I could actually taste the individual local botanical elements in the Brookies Dry Gin.
Whilst it’s one thing to talk about rainforest regeneration, locally-grown unique ingredients, local employment and a locally produced product, it was a completely different experience to see all these elements actually working so successfully together on the ground, and it gave me an almost proud feeling to be, at least, a distant neighbour of the operation.
They also cooperate with other local outfits, for example to produce Pacific Moonshine (distilled from kegs of Stone & Wood Pacific Ale in a previous lockdown!) and The Boilermaker Gift Pack (Stone & Wood’s Jasper Ale + Brookies Mac Liqueur) if you’re looking for a gift!
More info at capebyrondistillery.com.