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The Craft & Co – Introduction to Distilling

We are not trying to convince the gin craft drinkers… you guys are already at the table. We want to target the Gordon, Bombay and Hendricks drinkers.”

‘The Craft’ movement has revived the small batch industries that was once considered dead in the water. We all thought bigger the company the better the product. Globalisation and complex supply chains would win the world over – a gin in Amsterdam would be the same as a gin in Zurich. That was until the idea lack variety and the ‘same-same’ felt like living under a communist regime.

The craft movement is more than just one product or sector. It is an ideal of creating something unique, limited batches and the ability for people to own products from a labour of love. There is also an exclusivity element. How many people can say they own a Cherry infused Gin. Or perhaps a vodka made from Sheep Whey?

With any movement or following there is a need for a congregation. With Jesus calling dibs on the church and Budda proclaiming the temple, Melbourne’s inspiring artisans have The Craft & Co. Located on Smith Street, Collingwood, The Craft & Co engages in the values of sustainable best practice, working with local producers and creating a dynamic paddock to plate culture.

The Craft & Co is also a place of learning. Offering a number of workshops -including sausage making, wine making and salami marking etc- for the budding artisan or the serious maker.  The workshops offers a fun and entertaining learning experience with plenty of hot tips. 

It was the love of gin here at The Modern Con that we elected to attend the Introduction to Distilling with Sebastian Raeburn from Artimus Gin.

There is always a little apprehension about attending (insert named) artisan workshop. The unknown unknown – such as do I need to be knowledgeable in this area –  can be a little off putting. Yet, The Craft & Co offers the perfect learning environment. By the end of the workshop you’ll come out with key learnings and a good dose of inspiration. The class was packed with 30 attendees as Sebastian masterfully controlled the room with full of enthusiasm, technical discussions and stories of how he is mastering the skill of distilling.

The class was broken into two main stages. The first stage was the introduction to the Pot Still distillation concept and its history. The concept dates back to the Arab empire era!  Sebastian provides a distillery demonstration with a mini 10 litre pot still and interestingly, using beer to distill into a gin! For the people with a science brain, the chemical process of understanding how the head, body and tail of the distill process works is quite fascinating.

The second stage was getting a tour of the commercial distillery – or so often called the ‘Carl’. Carl is the most sort after distillery equipment with a long waiting list just to get the supplier interested to purchase. The cooper pop still is a beaut to look at with plenty of dials and buttons to give Doctor Who a run for his money. Sebastian helpfully walks through the process and highlights the science around the commercial gin micro-brewing.

It’s not just all learning and listening, as attendees will use all their senses. From using your sight and smell to understand the head, body and tail of the brewing process. The group also sampled Tue Craft & Co Gin being paired with cured meats and cheeses.

Above all the tasting, smelling and learning the technical process, the true golden nugget from the workshop was witnessing Sebastian’s love for gin. He champions the idea of drinking well and critically. Able to know the difference between gins and being aware of the botanicals used. For the gin fans and people wanting to know more about distilling, this workshop is worth its weight in craft spirits.

For more information about The Craft & Co workshops can be found here.

The Important Stuff

What: Where the cool stuff is made
Where: 390 Smith St, Collingwood
Opening Hours:
Mon – Wed 7am – 4pm
Thurs – Fri 7am – late
Sat 8am – late
Sun 8am – 6pm

Food in pictures

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