Cape Byron Distillery is getting ready to release its first whisky. The distillery has established a name for itself with its Brookie Gin and macadamia liqueur Mac.
It is located in the Byron Bay hinterland on the Brook family’s 95-acre macadamia farm. Cape Byron Distillery co-founder and distiller Eddie Brook is the son of Pam and Martin Brook, of Brookfarm muesli fame. Eddie and his brother Will (who is now Brookfarm CEO) were part of their parents’ painstaking efforts to regenerate the property into the subtropical rainforest and macadamia farm it now is. The property produces 50 tonnes a year of macadamias a year.
Food & Drink Business met Eddie and the family on the verandah of the distillery almost two years ago in June 2019. He explained the distillery was about showcasing what was in their backyard. “There’s 20 botanicals in our signature Brookie’s Byron Dry Gin, and 18 are sourced locally, many from our rainforest,” he said.
The whisky process came about after master whisky distiller Jim McEwan took Eddie under his wing. McEwan is the world’s most awarded Scotch whisky distiller and has played a pivotal role in the birth of Cape Byron Distillery Single Malt Whisky.
In February 2019, the first batch of whisky was poured into ex bourbon, US oak casks. At our meeting in June that year, Pam Brook said: “Only 800 sleeps to go”.
She added: “Ageing whisky here is so unique, the barrels are housed here on the farm with the climate controlling the process. We are by the sea and in the rainforest, the winds come from off the water or through the trees. It will age twice as fast here as it would if it was in Scotland.”
Fast forward to March 2021 and the distillery is getting ready for its first whisky release. To mark the event, the distillery is holding the Australian premiere of the whisky documentary The Water of Life both on location and online.
For more information on the event click here.