When brewers get their hands on a bunch of distilling equipment and some kick-arse ingredients, you know you’re in for a treat.
We all know Young Henrys – they’re stalwarts of the Sydney craft beer scene and have been pumping out six taps and two handpumps of beer and cider, regular seasonal specials, and the odd pun-heavy collaboration or two in an industrial warehouse in Newtown since 2012. Since then the brewing space has extended into the premises next door, and the tiny tasting bar is more often than not packed with punters there to taste the latest brews, and get in on regular car park appearances from Sydney’s fleet of gourmet Food Trucks.
This year Young Henrys took things Next Level by fusing distilling and brewing: enter Noble Cut gin, the first in what is hopefully a long line of hand-crafted small-batch spirits from the team. Made on-site alongside their beer offerings, Noble Cut features all the usual London Dry-style suspects – juniper, coriander, orange peel, cassia bark, liquorice root and angelica root, with a little native pepperberry and bush tomato thrown in for good measure. But it’s the unorthodox additions that truly make it a “brewer’s gin” – we’re talking a 100% grain base distilled on-site in equipment sourced from an eighth-generation Tennessee bootlegger, and a floral hit of Tasmanian-grown Enigma hops to boot. Throw in some cascara (sourced from the skin of Toby’s Estate coffee beans), and sencha tea from Newtown’s Perfect South, and you’ve got yourself one impressive and thoughtfully-produced tipple.
Noble Cut stands on it’s own two feet exceptionally well, but I’m an old-fashioned girl and will always prefer my gin with tonic water and a slice of lime. Having said that, adding a squeeze of ruby grapefruit and a sassy flourish of thyme goes down a treat too.
You can hook yourself up with a bottle of Noble Cut by popping in to Young Henrys at 76 Wilford St in Newtown, or pick it up from their online store. Keep an eye on the YH Facebook page for updates on limited edition brews, as well as details on weekend Food Truck events.