On the east coast of Australia in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales lies the deepest caldera in the Southern Hemisphere. At the focal point of the caldera and still dominating the region is the eroded core of the once mighty Tweed volcano. Known as Wollumbin or ‘cloud catcher’ by the Bundjalung people, it was named Mt Warning by Captain James Cook in 1770, to warn mariners of the treacherous coastline between Fingal Head and Point Danger.
Nestled in the caldera below, set on 150 acres of farmland with the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Gondwana Rainforest to the west, lies the small distillery where Husk Distillers practice their craft.
Inspired by the diverse and vibrant rum culture of the Caribbean islands and a yearning for fine Australian spirits, distiller Paul Messenger, along with his family and friends, embarked on a journey to create a plantation distillery on their cattle & cane farm, nestled in the green caldera surrounding Mt Warning in Northern NSW.
Our vision was to create a premium, paddock to bottle agricole rum with a unique Australian expression. It’s taken five years and we’ve had to develop new skills and adapt new methods of small-scale cultivation, harvesting and crushing not used in the area before. We’ve designed our distillery based on fermentation, distillation and maturation methods not typically used in commercial rum distilleries and the result is a rum that we are proud to say has the unique characteristics of our part of the world, our provenance.
Husk Rum can only be made from freshly crushed cane juice so its production is restricted to the harvest season from August to November. While rum from our first harvest in 2012 was quietly maturing on oak we began creating a gin, not just another craft gin but something different, something that would challenge people’s perception of what gin can be.
Follow our journey as we build our new distillery and cellar door, developing experimental blends and innovative craft spirits.