Challenging the classics at White Oat Distillery

Challenging the classics at White Oat Distillery

Behind every business is a story that is unique.

White Oat Distillery may have started with three mates chatting over drinks in a bar, a fact that is hardly unique in a holiday destination.

What was new was not their desire to start their own business, but their vision of bringing new life to classic drinks.

The dream began in 2021, when lockdowns and border closures zipped us all up into a cocoon-like existence.

With a change of pace forced onto their business lives, mates Andrew Langton, David Beaton and Ryan Goding were sharing a socially distanced beer in the backyard, philosophising about the experience of lockdown and what they had learned.

Gin, cocktails and beer are available from the White Oat Distillery bar

With all their favourite bars closed, the important thing, they realised, was not the bar you drank at, or the beer you held in your hand, but who you shared it with. What mattered was how you felt in that shared moment, and how those moments melded together to become epic memories.

If only you could bottle that, they thought, then you could recreate that experience wherever you were.

With the help of a few beers, the guys were onto something inspiring.

Some of the botanicals used in White Oat gin

Flavours and perfumes carry memories of people, places and events. It’s not uncommon for migrants to miss the fragrance of fruit from their homeland, or for lovers to remember a perfume long after the romance has faded.

So, it was reasonable for the trio to believe that if they created a classic drink with a particular twist, it would carry its own memories of time and place with it. The difficult part, of course, was the technical ability to create that point of difference.

White Oat’s Head Distiller, Tudor Duxbury

With a limited knowledge of distilling, the team brought award-winning distiller, Tudor Duxbury, on board. Tudor’s decades of knowledge, his passion for all things liquid and his willingness to challenge boundaries made him the informed creator who would bring the White Oat Distillery dream to life.

Starting with gin, which makes up a whopping 30% of the Aussie spirit market, there were only two rules: challenge the status quo by changing the classics, and don’t compromise on quality. From the ingredients that went in, to the product that came out, only the best was good enough. And the best would be different to any other spirit on the market.

White Oat Distillery’s London Dry Gin

Soon the first two products were born: White Oat Distillery’s London Dry Gin with notes of mandarin and orange on a bed of warm spice, and Berry Pink Gin with aromatics of berry and spice. Supplementing the core range of two gins they would also produce seasonal limited releases, such as Mango (already sold out) and Navy Strength Gin.

At the same time, the team were creating an inviting distillery and bar in the bone-dry northern suburbs where they live. Opening in May 2022, White Oat is the largest distillery on the Gold Coast.

The venue’s décor provides a family-friendly environment that speaks to the production of spirits. Just like the yin and yang of distilling where science and creativitity are intertwined as necessary oppositional realities, cool stainless-steel pots are balanced by the promising gleam of copper stills, the colour pop of vulnerable blushing musk pink and soft grey are set against an uncompromising background of black tiles and shelving dotted with silver taps of promise.

As long working weeks lean towards the weekend, White Oat’s bar opens on Thursday afternoon in preparation for some well-earned time off. With beer and White Oat spirit cocktails on offer, families are welcome to dine from visiting food trucks. There are also opportunities to learn from Tudor, the Head Distiller, how gin is made, as well as how to mix and serve your favourite tipple.

Evan mixes a cocktail

So, what is the White Oat difference?

Firstly, the quality. White Oat gin, like its namesake, is made from the finest quality ingredients available, giving it a velvety finish. It is so pure that it can be drunk straight or on the rocks.

White Oat Distillery’s Berry Pink Gin

The production at White Oat Distillery is agile and efficient, not bound by unnecessary constraints or conventions. Where necessary, the team can complete production in 5 – 7 hours, bottling in 24 hours from its 1500 litre still. Or the gin can be barrel-aged to take on other characteristics.

Already, White Oat gin is being noticed, with products available at major outlets from the Northern Rivers to Brisbane and at several independent liquor outlets in Sydney and Melbourne.

Barrel ageing gin brings different characteristics to the spirit

But the story doesn’t end there, with whisky already ageing in barrels and Tudor playing with agave spirit for his own unique take on tequila.

Above all, there’s a promise from the team to ‘make something good and different enough to be memorable’, leaving it to us to complete the memory creation.

“Life is short so we might as well make it a great one,” the White Oat Distillery team tells us.

“At the end of the day, it’s about creating a sip to remember, as you create special moments with friends, new and old. 

Today’s moments. Tomorrow’s memories.” 

White Oat Distillery, Units 13-14, 211 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters, Ph: 07 4348 3590

Open: Thursday & Friday 3pm – 9pm; Saturday & Sunday 12pm – 9pm

NOTE: Some photos supplied by White Oat Distillery.

Read more about other distilleries in the region here: SE Qld Distilleries, Granddad Jack’s, Panezski Artisan Distillery, Tamborine Mountain Distillery, Wildflower Distilling, Brisbane Distillery, Milton Rum Distillery, Winston Quinn, Cape Byron Distillery (Brookies), Lord Byron Distillery, Imbibis.
Open: Thursday & Friday 3pm – 9pm.; Saturday & Sunday 12pm – 9pm
211 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters QLD, Australia