Kindred spirits flourish in the shadow of Mount Warning
There must be something in the water, judging from the growing numbers of distillers in the Northern Rivers region of NSW.
Last stop of the day is Lord Byron Distillery, tucked away in a corner of the Arts & Industry Estate in Byron Bay. Former renewable energy power station CEO Brian Restall and his family established this business just 18 months ago to make rum and other spirits. Given Restall’s background, it’s no surprise the distillery has impressive eco-credentials: the stills are fired using 100 per cent renewable energy from the power station that’s fuelled by the spent cane from the local sugar mill that processes the molasses Restall makes his rum with. Water comes from a spring on the Restalls’ farm, and the nutrient-rich waste from the distillery goes back onto the farm as fertiliser.
Like the other two distilleries, Lord Byron is keen to engage with tourists and the local community: there’s a small cellar door/bar on site, and Restall offers cocktail-making demonstrations and gin-blending sessions that teach the fundamentals of distilling. Thanks to this focus on education and support, it won’t be long before other brands and products start to appear on the Northern Rivers spirits scene.