Cape Byron Distillery in Australia announces first whisky

Jim McEwan is Master Distiller and co-founder of the distillery


The Cape Byron Distillery is located on a 95-acre farm in the hinterland of Byron Bay, Australia. In addition to gin, whisky is also made here. The first single malt whisky will be launched at events at the distillery and in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney from late August 2022.

The fact that the Australian whisky newcomer is also met with great interest in Europe is not least due to the fact that whisky icon Jim McEwan (most recently Bruichladdich and Ardnahoe) is significantly involved in the production of the whisky as co-founder and master distiller of the distillery.

Protect the rainforest and use it sustainably

After Pam and Martin Brook bought the former dairy farm in 1988, they began restoring the area, converting much of it into a subtropical rainforest. They planted over 35,000 trees. In the meantime, a diverse flora and fauna has settled there. For example, 17 of the 25 botanicals used for the gin come from their own rainforest. In 2020, Cape Byron Distillery won the 'Sustainable Distillery of the Year' title at the Icon of Gin Awards. Eddie Brook grew up here and combined his passion for forest conservation with his years of experience in the spirits and food industries by establishing a distillery on the property together with Jim McEwan.

A new heart project of Jim McEwan

In his book "The Story of Jim McEwan", Udo Sonntag has whisky expert McEwan describe how he first met Eddie Brook in 2014 during a Bruichladdich promotional trip through Australia. At that time Eddie was his tour manager there and inspired him in conversations about the rainforest and the potential of the country. It wasn't long before plans were made to develop a rainforest gin. Ideas to distil a whisky here soon followed. The nearby Byron Bay Brewery could be won to supply the distillery with the mash. The starting signal was given on February 11, 2019 and now this latest project by Jim McEwan is being presented for the first time.

“We're so excited to finally share Cape Byron Single Malt Whisky with Australian whisky fans and to showcase the range in such a meaningful and intimate setting. These events are a whisky lovers dream and Jim McEwan is such an inspiring figure in our industry. For Jim to be able to share not only the story of our distilling journey, but his wealth of knowledge is something unmissable for the whiskey community. We are also going to have a ton of fun and many laughs, so a night to truly remember!” says Eddie Brook.

Images: Cape Byron Distillery