Hippocampus Distillery West Perth
We’re Hippocampus Distillery here in West Perth. We’ve been here for about 18 months now. All of are ex-Little Creatures basically, so when that finished up, we wanted to do something similar but still a bit different. So we started importing Sipsmith’s Gin from London, which is the first new distillery in London in nearly 200 years to be opened and sort of dealing with small-scale craft spirits is something we became really quite attached to and something we would like to do on a different scale and different version here in Perth.
Hippocampus Distillery West Perth
Alex Poulsen Distiller at Hippocampus Distillery talks through the history, process, and future plans for the West Perth spirits maker.
So, we got this distillery here. Her name is Kylie. She is a 450-litre German-made distillery. So, we wanted to make local spirits using the best local ingredients we could find, so that started off very organically with vodka. We’re located in the wheat belt so right out our back door was some of the best wheat in the world. We get ours from Dumbleyung. It’s all organically sourced.
When you’re doing distillation, you’re getting the essence of something, the spirit if you will, so when you use really high quality ingredients, it makes it quite easy to get a high quality output. The wheat we use is really high in flavour and that carries right through in the vodka. So, it is clean but, unlike some other vodkas, it has got a really nice taste to it as well.
The vodka was the first product we came out with and then we’ve just released our gin which is a very traditional London dry-style which we use. Very heavy on the juniper and coriander characters, and everything else sort of plays a background note.
We launched our vodka pretty much one year ago, almost exactly to the day. So these last 12 months have been absolutely crazy for us. The vodka’s been really well-received. So we’re now, pretty much in, I think, just about every state in Australia which is, to be honest, incredible. I don’t think we set out to get this nation-wide distribution this quickly. It’s been really pleasing to see that people are really enjoying our spirits, so that’s good. And then the gin which we’ve released, about a month ago now, has been really well-received as well, so that’s starting to gain some traction.
I think gin’s such a hot commodity right now. I think we’ll be seeing that sort of exceed sales in vodka, so white spirit is just in a really interesting point in the marketplace right now, so obviously everywhere you go, everyone’s asking about gin, that kind of thing. Vodka’s starting to come back again after a, not a dead period, but a very quiet period. It seemed to be almost like a shameful drink. People drank a lot of it when they first started going out to bars, very quickly came off it, and now they’re sort of coming back to vodkas which are made with a bit more flavour, a bit more skill, things like that.
I think people care a lot more about what they eat and drink now. I can see that with our cooking. People care a lot more about more variety. They care a lot more where it comes from, why people are doing it, the story attached to that, and we live in such a climate that, while things like rum and whisky still are well-received, it’s hard to drink a lot of those spirits when it’s 40 degrees outside. That’s why gin and vodka are very refreshing and something like a gin and tonic or a vodka cranberry or something like that. They’re a lot easier to drink on a hot day and you know…that’s good.
We’ll be opening our cellar door within the next month or two, so we’ll be here at 19 Gordon Street. Come in, try all our spirits, have a little bit of food, and then enjoy the space, you can meet Kylie. Yeah.
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