Base spirit matters in gin, says brewer & distiller Simon Brooke-Taylor: S10E6

Distillers should be making the base spirit for their gin from scratch if they want to be considered craft or artisan producers, according to Hurdle Creek Still founder Simon Brooke-Taylor.

Simon Brooke-Taylor (and yes, he is related to the late Tim Brooke-Taylor from ‘The Goodies’) founded Hurdle Creek Still in Milawa, North East Victoria, with his partner Wendy Williams in 2014.

He joins us in this episode of the Drinks Adventures podcast to discuss Hurdle Creek’s gin, jenever, liqueurs and aperitifs that champion locally sourced ingredients.

Hurdle Creek is one of a handful of Australian distilleries that produces its own base spirit from scratch, in this case using locally sourced grain.

Coming from a brewing background, Simon considers base spirit somewhat similarly to the role malt plays in beer.

In contrast to some of the distillers we’ve heard from previously on this podcast who say they need a completely neutral base spirit to show off the botanicals in their gin, Simon likes having a base with character that adds layers and texture to the palate of his gin.

Base spirit made in-house: Gin, liqueurs and aperitifs by Hurdle Creek Still

He wants to educate drinkers that there is much more to gin than just the dry styles that currently dominate the market.

First up though, Simon recounts his path from studying biochemistry and toxicology at university to becoming a master brewer, and the evolution of his distilling hobby into a professional career.

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