Over the last few months I have written several articles about Byron Bay’s phenomenal craft food industry. After speaking with a lot of small business owners I became massively inspired with their overall passion. Even though they are interested in making a living it isn’t their primary motivation. In fact, many of these artisans originally operated from home and made them for friends. The only reason their company’s expanded rapidly is because the quality of the produce is so extraordinarily high.
Generally, I like to include diversity when publishing articles on my website. I feel this is more interesting for the reader and the research is highly pleasurable for me. For that reason, I decided to expand these articles to also include drinks (alcoholic/non alcoholic). As you would expect Byron Bay also has its fair share of exciting and innovative beverage makers. Here are five exciting companies that produce some absolutely wonderful products.
Cape Byron Distillery
Cape Byron Distillery is a unique craft alcoholic beverage producer located in the beautiful hinterland region of Byron. From the farm there are spectacular views of the surrounding landscape and sea. The business is the brainchild of the Brooks family and legendary master distiller Jim McEwan. One of the company’s signature products is called Brookie’s Byron Dry Gin. This amazing (perfectly balanced) liquor is handcrafted in traditional custom made copper pots and contains a range of botanical ingredients which are foraged from the heart of the Rainforest. They also produce a wonderful ‘Slow Gin’ that is equally enticing.
Imogen’s Farm Winery
Imogen’s Farm Winery pays tribute to Imogen Kesteven who sadly passed away in 1998. Her parents Douglas and Christine Kesteven now operate the company from headquarters situated in Whian Whian (near Byron Bay). It is pertinent to mention that they also run a successful homestay business from these premises. Within the range there are five amazing preservative wines to choose from (“TILLY” LIMONCELLO, “NATHAN’S” WINE of LIME”, “JAGERA” SWEET JABOTICABA, “INNES” CHAMBOURCIN 2013 and “ZIGGY” SWEET CHAMBOURCIN). All are completely unique and taste delicious.
Living Chai is a craft beverage producer with a social conscious. The company promotes healthy living and proudly supports Ramana’s Garden Children’s Home in Rishikesh, India which is a safe living environment for children and families at risk. As well as donating to this worthy cause they also manufacture a range of natural organic, vegan, gluten free probiotic drinks that are crammed full of natural ingredients. Mouth watering varieties include names like ‘Dirty Chai, Golden Chai, Choccy Chai and Coco Chai.
Good Happy is the perfect description for this micro brand, which is located in the heart of Byron Bay. This one man operated company was established by passionate foodie Liam Flanagan. His experimental approach definitely has achieved some extraordinary results and his drinks are absolutely phenomenal. Combination of ingredients like schizandra berries, vanilla beans, blueberries and green tea are totally inspired. Certainly this is one of the best Kombucha’s I have ever tasted.
Byron Bay Ginger Necktar
Originally Byron Bay Ginger Necktar was established over ten years ago by health conscious mother Lois Vickery-Hall. However, recently Andrew Rudd has assumed the helm and is steadily growing the business. In fact, as welling as selling locally the brand has expanded and now distributes nationwide. What makes the company so special is that all their delicious beverages are additive, preservative and refined sugar free. To achieve the maximum flavor the drinks are handcrafted from ingredients like fresh ginger, lemon, fresh water (from the rainwater tank) raw unprocessed honey and cranberries.
Husk Distillers is a boutique beverage manufacturer located in the Tweed Valley on the North Coast of New South Wales (near Byron Bay). The business was established by innovator Paul Messenger and his family in 2012. Since then they have forged a solid reputation for themselves within the craft spirit community. Their ‘pièce de résistance’ is a product aptly named Ink Gin, which took over three years to develop. As well as tasting absolutely superb it also has a distinctive blue colour derived from a Thai flower called the Buttterfly Pea (Clitoria ternatea).