Tuesday, October 3, 2023

A spirited festival celebrates far north’s top tipples with “vintage circus”

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Hemingway’s Brewery, Media Release, 6 June 2023

Far North Queensland’s Festival of Spirits is back from midday on Saturday 10 June 2023 at Hemingway’s Brewery in Cairns with a shaken and stirred “vintage circus” styled celebration showcasing the region’s local craft distilleries and top tipples.

Promising colour, fun and a heady mix of entertainment, Festival of Spirits will highlight the region’s delicious array of gins, whiskies, rums and more from Wolf Lane (Cairns), Distil on the Hill (Kuranda), Mt Uncle Distillery (Walkamin), Narrow Track Distillery (Stratford), Wild River Mountain Distillery (Wondecla) and Devils Thumb (Port Douglas).

Speaking at media call in Cairns the Head Distiller of Devils Thumb, Hamish Macdonald was getting into the spirit, juggling fruit, and sharing details of four cocktails that will be available on Saturday including The Devil’s Ruby – which he said is “tasty, fruity, bright red and delicious” comprising a mix of signature dry gin, passionfruit liquor, ruby red grapefruit syrup and dehydrated grapefruit.

Distil on the Hill’s owner and distiller, Neddy Bedwell said they are going to take advantage of the cooler weather with a mulled sloe gin cocktail for festivalgoers while showcasing their popular Mandarin and Jindilli (macadamia) gins along with the new ‘Pipi’ gin blend of green apple, thyme, sun-dried tomato, and kaffir lime for a more savoury flavour.

According to Ms Bedwell, Distil on the Hill was established two years ago and operates from her farm in Kuranda. “Our mission is to make a beautiful product that is both organic and sustainable. We source the freshest ingredients possible including locally grown and spray-free mandarins and our Jindilli gin features native raspberries grown in Atherton.”

Hemingway’s Brewery’s Head of Hospitality Roman Haslinger said the Festival of Spirits, which coincides with World Gin Day, is an opportunity to experience the unique tastes and flavours of spirits made by the Far North’s distilleries.

“Along with a strong appreciation for quality and enviable access to the abundant range of botanicals and natural ingredients, our region’s distillers are pushing boundaries and setting the bar high on a global stage for creating distinct and sophisticated flavours.

“The Festival of Spirits collectively recognises the region’s distillers and all the clever and talented people who are innovating and making products that capture the vibrant spirit of the tropics,” Mr Haslinger said.

Taking a cue from the vintage circus theme, Festival of Spirits has a high-voltage line-up of fun and entertainment including circus performances, juggling competitions, sea shanties from The Secret Men, Cairns’ 5-piece men’s choir and a folk music showcase from Keesha McLean’s Cairns Voice Studio. 

Known for his juggling skill at work and at play, Hemingway’s Brewery’s Functions Coordinator, Brendan Dennis has issued a call out to anyone who can jungle to get along to the Festival of Spirits and show their flair in the air with a chance to snag the major prize of a Great Barrier Reef cruise from Down Under Cruise and Drive.

Festival of Spirits is a free and family-friendly event on Saturday 10 June 2023 from 12 noon until late at Hemingway’s Brewery, Wharf Street, Cairns.


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