The Gospel Whiskey
Moreland Made in Brunswick
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
A chance meeting back in 2008 led to the discovery of a shared passion for whiskey by Ben Bowles and Andrew Fitzgerald. The two became good mates and business partners. In 2019, they launched The Gospel Whiskey, a Brunswick-based distillery. We talk the good stuff with Ben.
|Business type||Whiskey distillery|
|Industry||Food and beverage|
|In Moreland since||2019|
|Core offering||Rye whiskey|
We’re Ben Bowles and Andrew Fitzgerald. We’re mechanical engineers by trade and met through our work in the construction industry. When we discovered we both loved whiskey, we started making some. We launched our first brand, Melbourne Moonshine, back in 2014, and The Gospel Whiskey in 2019. I think it’s fair to say Andrew is the more business-minded of the two of us, and I’m the cook.
We make rye whiskey in the American style using one hundred per cent Australian ingredients. Our first whiskey is called Solera Rye. It involves using a sour mash technique, which is like a sourdough starter, but for whiskey. The sour mash from the previous batch starts the fermentation process for a new batch. Rye whiskey is considered the hardest type of whiskey to produce. Luckily, we’ve got a real passion for the stuff.
WHY…we’re making whiskey
I’m from South Carolina in the US, it’s moonshine country. I grew up with my family distilling moonshine – which is essentially an unaged corn whiskey – in the backyard. The spirits industry is a tough one to be in as there are a lot of craft whiskey distilleries popping up. This has been our fulltime gig for the past five years…it’s not always easy – in fact sometimes, it’s a very rocky road.
WHEN…we started out
We knew we wanted to scale, so we knew we’d need a decent-sized warehouse. That’s because whiskey has to age in barrels for at least two years in order to legally be considered whiskey. We found a space on Albert Street in Brunswick, and a majority of the space is dedicated to storage.
WHERE…we sourced our font
Our brand architect, Kelvin Soh, developed our signature font and brown bottle. Even though we’re making American-inspired whiskey, we’re all about Melbourne. We created our own font for The Gospel Whiskey; it’s based on charcoal rubbings from the foundation stone at the GPO in the Melbourne CBD.
HOW…we’ve managed to keep going during COVID-19
The coronavirus hit us pretty hard, like it has done for many hospitality-focused businesses. Almost overnight, we saw our on-premises sales disappear, and we had to let four of our staff go, which was quite difficult. We’ve found a way to keep going by producing hand sanitiser, which we’re supplying to essential services at cost. We’ve also seen an increase in buying local amongst our community, which is a real silver lining. I hope that continue to grow well beyond COVID-19.
Images courtesy of The Gospel Whiskey.
The Gospel Whiskey is a Moreland Made success story!
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