‘ZERO WASTE, ALL TASTE’ AT NEW BYRON BAY DISTILLERY
Byron Shire is a haven of creativity, a mecca attracting those looking to push the boundaries and step outside the norm. It’s also a place where the environment and renewable energy are at the forefront of every local’s mind. Mullumbimby was among the first towns to use hydroelectric power – way back in the 1920s – and that environmental spirit lives on.
Brian and Helen Restell, together with their brother Kris, recently launched the Lord Byron Distillery – a new zero waste and carbon neutral distillery producing hand-crafted rum, vodka and limoncello from its home in the vibrant Byron Bay Arts & Industrial Estate.
On the day of my visit, Brian is tending to the three main stills at their factory – as well as a smaller fourth, which I’ll come back to later – and it’s clear this is the business he was born to create. He exudes passion for his craft, with all the necessary expertise to back it up…
Got Rum Magazine November 2018 | by Margaret Ayala
Exclusive Interview with Brian and Helen Restall, Founders of Lord Byron Distillery in Byron Bay, Australia
Q: Please state your full name, title, company name and company location.
My name is Brian Restall. My wife Helen and I founded Lord Byron Distillery which is located in Byron Bay, Australia.
Byron Bay is where the pacific breeze first meets the coast of Australia. Looking at a map of Australia you can find Byron Bay by looking for the most easterly point of Australia. We make aged and unaged rums, vodka and liquors.
Q: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the name of your distillery?
Byron Bay is a place of great natural beauty, where the rainforest meets sweeping pristine beaches. It attracts people wanting to reconnect with nature and has a real bohemian romance about the place. Byron Bay is named after Admiral Byron, who led the English Navy at the time when the English claimed Australia as their own. Admiral Byron was the grandfather of Lord Byron. Lord Byron decided that he would completely change the direction of his family’s legacy and as a result of his confidence and also his ability he become one of England’s greatest romantic period poets.
At school, I studied Lord Byron’s poetry and was drawn to his love of life and his determination to follow his passions. Having the conviction to follow your dreams is so important. I have seen it time and time again that if people are doing things they love, they are more likely to be exceptional at it. When my family decided to commit to opening a new distillery it seemed like a logical name, given the location and personal lessons I had learnt from the poetry of Lord Byron.
Get It Magazine August 2018
But first, gin
Bespoke Gin Blending Class
Gin lovers, this is the experience for you! While Australia makes some of the best Gins in the world, if you have ever wondered if you could make a better one with your own special blend of botanicals, Lord Byron Distillery’s Bespoke Gin Blending Class gives you that opportunity! They will help guide you to select the botanicals, steep them in alcohol before distilling in a micro-still. You then bottle and label your hand-crafted masterpiece to take home with you!
Where to try: Lord Byron Distillery
Address: Unit 7, 4 Banksia Drive, Byron Bay
Byron Shire Echo Wednesday 11 July 2018
Australia makes some of the best gins in the world. Tow of those exceptional gins are made right here in the northern rivers by the Brooke (Brookies) and Messenger (Ink Gin) families.
Instead of making its own gin, the newly opened Lord Byron Distillery are starting a ‘Ginstitute’ in Byron (love the name!) where customers can come along and make their very own gin to take home and share with friends.
Founder Brian Restall believes that customers deserve to know where their drinks come from and how they are made. Lord Byron makes distilled spirites for discerning customers from ingredients sourced from their own family farm in the hinterlands of ByronBay as well as other local growers. For example, they buy molasses from the local sugar milling cooperative, the last majority farmer-owned sugar milling business in Australia. The drinks are all handmade, following artisan distilling methods.
Brian says, “We believe you can taste the difference because the ingredients are naturally better – we do not add artificial colours, flavours or additives. We are also Australia’s first and only zero-waste, carbon-neutral distillery.
‘At the Lord Byron Distillery Ginstitute we help customers select the botanicals that are just right for them. The great thing about food and drink is that everyone’s taste buds are different and also right. Gin is made by infusing botanicals into an alcohol base.
As a ‘student’ at the Ginstitute you get to select your own botanicals, and steep them in alcohol before distilling in a micro-still. You then bottle and label your hand-crafted masterpiece to take home with you. It’s quite an experience, and if you were really selfless it could make a unique gift for someone you love.
You can book courses online at www.lordbyrondistillery.com.au