The Fascinating Evolution of Fossey’s Distillery

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The fascinating Evolution of Fossey's Distillery

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Tuesday 19th of January is a big day for Fossey’s!

It is our 4th birthday! And what a 4 years it has been. For those who do not know the story on how Fossey’s was born, here is a small snippet of how it has evolved into a household name in the Sunraysia area and become one of TripAdviser’s highest ranked tourist attraction’s in Mildura! Not to mention, the well-known & recognised Australian distillery trailblazers.

Let’s go back to 2016.

Never being afraid of a challenge is something Steve Timmis, Head Distiller at Fossey’s Distillery is well known for.

And the evolution of Fossey’s has certainly been a challenge.

Steve and his wife, Nadine who is better known as Eddie by her friends & family, bought The Settlers Club around 6 years ago. Known for biting off more than they can chew & then chewing like crazy, this was no different. They were also building their house and renovating another pub at the same time. Or as Steve colourfully described it “that was some sh*t show”.

Originally, Steve had the lightweight idea to make a distillery for whisky. It was going to be more of a lifestyle business with distilling only being done 1 day per week. But the gin gods had other ideas and whilst researching the different spirits he could potentially make, he realised gin was something that could be done whilst he was waiting for the whisky to mature.

Once he made the decision to open a gin distillery, people started looking at him like he had gone a little mad or perhaps drunk too much of his own spirits. There were many who could not see the potential in gin distilling 5 years ago and they made no secret of their doubts. They asked him “what are you doing? And loudly declared “no one drinks gin in this town!”

And perhaps they were right 5 years ago.

But if they did not then, they certainly do now.

Like he normally does, Steve didn’t listen to anyone and got started on the onerous process to make the distillery come to fruition, applying for all the government licences. He had many hurdles to jump because local council, state and federal governments have processes for distilleries to be approved. And of course, he could not start building the still until all the approvals and licences were in place. But once all those boxes were ticked, helped by his son, Adam, Steve got to building the “Stanley the Still”! Once that had been completed, Steve spent 3 months in the still by himself doing the research and development, to get the process right to produce the high-quality gin we know as Fossey’s today!

1 year after giving birth to the idea of creating Mildura’s very first distillery, Fossey’s Ginporium opened with the 4 core products: Naval, Original, Desert Lime & Pepperberry. Pepperberry has since been swapped out for the hugely popular and locally sourced Shiraz.

In the beginning, the Ginporium was open 1 day per week and as it took hold and demand increased, Steve quickly realised he needed to open more. Around this time, another realisation hit. He could not continue to be a one-man band. He had to find some help with the bottling, distilling, labelling, serving etc.

Fossey’s is truly a family owned and run business with all the clan stepping up to offer their talents.

Eddie created the delicious Gin Jam and makes the Christmas pudding which is used to steep the gin in for Fossey’s hugely popular seasonal Christmas Pudding Gin. She is also wonderful with the décor and anything needing to be aesthetically pleasing such for markets and any events. Eddie can be found serving customers in the distillery or just helping whenever needed.  Steve’s motto is “there are no free rides here” so everyone must roll up their sleeves and pitch in when needed. The whole family believe and live by the same thing.

Steve & Eddie’s daughter, Cherie, was starting to transition from being full time mum to working more on the family business. She took on branding & promotion on social media. Her sister-in-law, Kylie Norton, incredibly talented, graphic designer, took on the job of branding and creating all the amazing images we now associate with Fossey’s. Eventually she took on the role of managing the bar, staff, rosters, payroll and according to Steve generally “muscling” him out.

Today, there are 3 female distillers – Tash, Bonnie & April – employed by Fossey’s. Female distillers are something of a rarity in the distilling industry & Fossey’s are proud to be somewhat trailblazers in this regard.

April is Fossey’s newest distiller and Steve’s niece who he lovingly refers to as “Da-Niece” and she lovingly refers to him as “Drunk-le”. As you can imagine, no offence is intended nor taken.

4 years on, Fossey’s has evolved from being a “lifestyle business” to a tourist attraction that locals are proud of. So much for “no one drinks gin in this town!” Fossey’s online presence and sales have grown to such a point as we require a distribution centre to handle all the online orders.

We are also staunch believers in supporting local wherever possible. Over the last 12 months, Fossey’s has sourced everything from the Sunrayisa area except Juniper berries. They are one of the only things that cannot be sourced here because of the climate. Fossey’s import the berries from Ludlow in the UK.

It is a source of pride to our head distiller, Steve, and all the Fossey’s family that out of a glass of gin, 99% of its ingredients are sourced from Sunraysia.

Here’s to another wildly successful 4 years! We look forward to taking the Fossey’s brand into different distillery realms and already have many exciting things planned for the not-too-distant future.

Happy 4th birthday, Fossey’s!

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Fossey’s Wins Gold

fossey's wins 4 awards in 2020

Fossey's Wins Gold

fossey's wins 4 awards in 2020
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MEDIA RELEASE

 

Fossey’s Distillery wins GOLD

 

On Monday August 31st the Australian Gin Awards released the results of their 2020 Gin Awards, with Mildura’s own Fossey’s Distillery taking home 4 medals including a GOLD Medal for their Navel Strength Gin.

Fossey’s Navel Strength Gin is a firm favourite of the distilling team and their response to the news of this Gin receiving a gold medal was solid and with laughter, “Rightly so!”

Fossey’s distilling team made up by Steve Timmis, Tash Faulkhead and Bonnie Seymour, take great pride and care with all of their work but collectively the team have always been extremely proud of the Navel Strength.

“We want to showcase local products as best we can through our Gin,” says Steve, “and so we chose to make a Gin that was citrus forward with an abundance of Navel oranges. This of course allowed us to have some fun with the name of the Gin and the spelling.”

To be deemed a “Naval or Navy Strength” the alcohol content must be that of at least 57%, presenting a unique challenge of creating a strong yet balanced drink.

“We slightly changed the flavour profile of this Gin compared to the others in our range,” says Steve “We pulled back on the floral notes, really went hard with the navel orange and added a small amount of ginger. We needed to compliment the strength of the alcohol and give it a smoothness that may have otherwise been lost had we not changed things slightly.”

Fossey’s Distillery also received a Silver Medal for their Original Gin in the Australian Contemporary Gin Category and two Bronze medals in the Flavoured Gin category for their Kaffir Leaf Gin and one of their best selling Gin’s, the Shiraz Gin.

Even through the current restrictions and challenges given the global pandemic situation, Fossey’s Distillery has remained a strong local presence and has continued with their seasonal Gin’s, their most recent being the sell out Chilli Gin, and the team have recently released a collection of Barrel Aged Gin’s.

“We started to lay down these in June for World Gin Day as we couldn’t celebrate with our usual Laneway Festival,” said Steve “and the results have been absolutely fantastic and we now have a Barrel Aged Collection with 6 varieties! We are very excited about the collaboration with Chalmer’s Wines with our Original Gin on one of their Aglianico Rose barrel’s. This particular Gin is absolutely stunning and we’re also excited about the Original Gin aged in our own Red Gum Rum barrel. The flavour is unlike anything we have ever had before which makes us more excited for our upcoming release of our new product, Fossey’s Red Gum Rum coming mid September.”

Fossey’s Distillery is still currently open for retail sales from their venue during usual business hours as well as having a permanent weekend set up at the new Mildura Street Food & Co. located on Deakin Ave and open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5pm.

The entire Fossey’s team are looking forward to reopening their distillery again in a few weeks once restrictions have eased.  

 

END RELEASE

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Fossey’s – The Original Ginporium

fossey's ginporium

Fossey's -The Original Ginporium

fossey's ginporium
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Oh how I miss it. Fossey’s – The Original Ginporium.

What a great place to hang out on a Friday night or any night for that matter, with friends at any time of the year. It’s a blessing to have such a treasure in my local town of Mildura. 

What makes Fossey’s Ginporium so amazing? 

Well to answer that I quote Darryl Kerrigan from the legendary Australian movie “The Castle” where he says “it’s just the vibe of the place” but it really is much more too.

If you don’t know the origins of the Ginporium, please allow me to enlighten you. It’s a ginteresting tale and one I think you will definitely enjoy. 

Fossey’s is family owned and operated. Fossey’s is the epitome of a boutique Distillery. 

Embracing family history, sensational local produce and exceptional story telling though the art of Gin & Whisky Swilling and Distilling, Fossey’s has truly embraced the Australian Gin, Vodka and Whisky culture. 

Fossey’s Ginporium is in one of Mildura’s most iconic and historical buildings, The Setts. It is home to Mildura’s first and only Gin Garden and Gin & Whisky Bar.

The unique back story to creating Fossey’s Ginporium:

Well the Fossey name was married into the family in the early 1900’s and as was tradition then, it was given as the middle name to the first-born son John Fossey, known to everyone as “Foss”.

A name that stood out, those who have it as their own have been of creative mind. Of pioneering spirit. Those with the name are usually proudly misunderstood!

The Fossey’s have lived by principles and ideologies that have been passed down through generations and become known as “Fosseylosophies” which we have based our Fossey’s Ginporium business principles on.

Foss’s Grandmother (who he never met) raised 6 children alone, while running a pub in Ludlow, United Kingdom. Coincidentally, this is the same area as our Fossey’s Gin Juniper berries come from.

One of her sons, Albert, migrated to Australia and married Elsie Vera. Elsie was small in stature but big in spirit nothing would faze her. She bought up 4 children (one of them Foss) in Koorlong before there were established roads and power. Elsie was always one who rolled up her sleeves and got on with the job. Growing up in the sticks, Foss thought the best things he had ever seen were running water and knives with a serrated edge.

Were these the things to ginspire big ideas and Fosseylosophies? 

Who knows? 

His execution of big ideas could be somewhat erratic at times and misguided at best, but Foss was truly an original entrepreneur.

Pioneering land (well outside Mildura) which wasn’t being used for anything else, Foss went on to create something that is still an icon of Mildura today – Timmis Speedway.

Foss and his young family farmed a property in Mourquong. Growing fresh fruit still to this day, this particular block is where our Fossey’s Original Gin Elixir bergamot oranges and tangelos are grown.

Father to our Master Ginnovator, Steve Timmis, who embodies the pioneering spirit and big ideas like his dad. Only perhaps with a slightly straighter forward strategy to implementation, the fundamentals of Fosseylosophies live on when developing something truly unique.

Ginterestingly, speaking of creating something truly unique, Foss’s great grandad Vere Quaile who was a blacksmith living in the Bacchus Marsh area, along with his son Edward, were the ones to create Ned Kelly’s armour.

So why create gin?

Well creating gin encompasses everything Fossey’s want to represent.
First class second to none products. Creative interpretation everything. Good fun, good times, good friends, good drink. Fossey’s has huge ideas conceived in a small space with crazy deadlines.


And then of course, there is family. We believe nothing is more important than family.

Fossey’s ginporium is a lasting legacy for Izzy May and Zeb Fossey (5th generation Mildura-ians). These two little ones have “fossmerized” grandfather – Steve Timmis, nana – Eddie Timmis and their mum – Cherie, into doing what they do best to create and bring to Mildura something never seen or done before.

That’s it. The tale of how Fossey’s Ginporium came into fruition. And thank the gin gods for that.

Cheers,

Narelle

Fossey’s Blogger

 

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Thirteen Fantastic Venues in Mildura

one of the hottest venues in Mildura Fossey's Distillery

thirteen fantastic
venues in mildura

one of the hottest venues in Mildura Fossey's Distillery
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Thirteen Fantastic Venues in Mildura

Whilst Melbourne has been locked down, Mildura remains open for business. And thank the sweet gin lord for that! I know so many of us didn’t enjoy not being able to socialise in the last lockdown. But have revelled in being able to catch up with friends at our favourite haunts since restrictions were relaxed.

Today I am going reveal thirteen fantastic venues in Mildura to help you decide where to hang out with your mates and enjoy the freedom we have in our sensational town.

Here we go, in no particular order:

  1. Thai Riffic – Truly one of the best places to eat in Mildura. With the most intimate setting, the food is to die for and service second to none. The only problem with Thai Riffic is it’s so delicious, I find it difficult to STOP eating!
  2. Brass Monkey – A unique & friendly atmosphere awaits at this trendy establishment. Service is quick and food is a delight to the taste buds. I usually get the Feed Me package which is great value and leaves me feeling incredibly spoilt.
  3. Sip – One of the locals’ favourites and possibly the hippest bar in Mildura. My personal favourite is their hot chips which are always crispy and beautifully seasoned. The service is fast, friendly & fantastic. I also appreciate Sip’s commitment to creating less landfill by using gluten free pasta tubes as straws instead of plastic ones. Now that’s impressive!
  4. Café 1909 – This is undoubtedly the most scenic venue in Mildura. River views make this place picturesque! My recommendation is to soak up the glorious winter sunshine out on the decking overlooking the river whilst enjoying a beautiful meal, served by friendly staff.
  5. Pizza Café – This little gem right in the city heart, offers a casual setting where you can sit inside or take advantage of the alfresco dining. You can enjoy well priced meals of pasta, antipasto, focaccias, salads and more. Relax in the friendly ambience as you enjoy the aromas of the wood ovens or sit al fresco and soak up the Mildura sunshine.
  6. Botanica – Enjoy the culinary delights of Chef Dag & Co. In the relaxed atmosphere dining room with large tables and comfortable seating. With over 30 year’s experience, Chef Dag has introduced a menu of modern Australian cuisine utilising the array of local produce found in Sunraysia. Botanica pride themselves on providing Mildura a place to eat with great food and service and find much joy in seeing people enjoy experiencing the food they have created. Definitely one to pop on your list of must visits!
  7. Corporate Moose – A groovy bar in the city heart with such a fun atmosphere. I love catching up here with friends later in the evening. It’s excellent for a late snack after having a few drinks too. I particularly like the American theme. It is different to anything in Mildura and kind of reminds me of the movies.
  8. Sunraysia Cellar Door – This is great hang out for drinks on a Friday night after work. I have spent many evenings enjoying laughs and fine wine with friends at Mildura’s iconic and wonderfully unique, Cellar Door. The relaxed atmosphere is a pleasure and the crowd are always good value too.
  9. Mildura Brewery – A Mildura icon located in the city heart! This is another super unique venue in our great town! It’s an ultra-cool place with loads of energy & atmosphere. Food is generally pub menu favourites and the service is always friendly!
  10. Stefano’s Restaurant – The fabulously famous Stefano De Pieri owns this wonderful Mildura eatery! Dine in the glowing cellars of The Grand Hotel in the evening for something incredibly special and an experience you will never forget! Stefano’s food is always second to none and the service is the same. Definitely include this on your “Must Visit List” for your next special night out.
  11. Spanish Bar & Grill – This is Mildura’s one and only dedicated wood fired grill and steakhouse. Think open fire cooking in a setting that is warm and inviting. Service is welcoming and happy! The setting is beautiful.
  12. Fasta Pasta – Seriously it’s fast! I have had the yummiest pasta at this venue. It’s quick & is on your table before you know it!
  13. Fossey’s Distillery – And of course, last but not least, Fossey’s! Trip Advisors number 1 rated place to visit in Mildura! Need I say anymore? It’s fun, friendly, warm and has the BEST gin on the planet. You will not be disappointed from a visit to Fossey’s Distillery. This, I can 100% guarantee.

There you have it, folks! A list of thirteen fantastic venues in Mildura for you to relax and enjoy our freedom this weekend. Make the most of it, I say!

If you have any other venues you think I should have included on this list, by all means shoot me a message on our Facebook page or email me info@fosseysgin.com.au and I will be sure to check it out for myself. We LOVE supporting local businesses & can make another list of venues nominated that I have left off this one. For more info about great places to see, Visit Mildura has a plethora of information which is sure to help greatly! 

Bottoms up & chin chin, gin lovers!

Until next time,

Fossey’s Ginspired Blogger Girl

Narelle

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