Old Kempton Distillery School offers the opportunity for students to learn the art of distilling with a hands on course as well as learning the business planning, marketing, theoretical training, ATO requirements, and industry connections needed to succeed in the world of spirits.
We are lucky enough to keep in contact with our students after they complete their course and develop great friendships with them that we hope continue for years to come. We also offer ongoing support, answer any questions that arise and offer any advice should they require it.
Late last year a lovely student named Tash completed our course and over the weekend released her first products, along with her partner who is affectionally known as “Fuzz”. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to ask a few questions and we hope you enjoy getting to know them both as much as we did –
1) Why did you pick Old Kempton Distillery School?
I picked the Old Kempton Distillery School training because it offered a broad range of learning opportunities, from setting up a distillery to better understanding the distilling process and craft. It also offered hands-on experience with a distiller, which was an extremely important aspect for me given I was new to the industry. When researching opportunities for additional training this was also a unique offering which I had not been able to find elsewhere.
2) What made you interested in the spirit industry?
It all began for my partner and I nearly 18 months ago in the north east of Scotland, on a rain-soaked afternoon at Strathisla, the home of Chivas Regal and its delicious, single malt whisky. We (Fuzz and myself) enjoyed a distillery tour and an afternoon of blending. It was grown-up chemistry at its best; it delighted our senses and over the coming days and a number of distillery visits later tasting both gin and whisky, a seed started to form … a Plan B.
3) What are the core products you will be focusing on for your own distillery?
Right now it is gin and liqueurs, with a Sloe and Mulberry Gin planned for release later this year, we also have ambitions to make whisky.
4) Why “Plan B”?
Realising that a life well-lived might involve more than one journey, Plan B for us is about having a dream and more importantly the courage to then commit, follow through and do it. It is about questioning the path you are taking and asking yourself is it the best plan, if not then what would be your alternative, your plan B.
5) What was the best part of Old Kempton Distillery School/was it worth attending?
This training offered so much more than I was expecting, and there were many highlights just to name a few:
• Access to experienced people in the industry that were only to happy to share their knowledge and experience
• The hands on experience to be able to work with Matt the Old Kempton Distiller who was only too happy to answer questions and share his knowledge
• Coverage of the broader aspects of setting up your own distillery, the traps and broader considerations
• The networking and long lasting relationships I was able to form
• The ongoing help and assistance from the Old Kempton team beyond the initial training. I have been in regular contact with Erin who we are extremely grateful to for the advice and assistance that she has provided us in our journey to set up our distillery.
6) What does the future hold for you?
Growth for our tiny craft distillery as we would eventually like to open a cellar door. Our next distilling focus is the development of a delicious non-alcoholic gin – easier said than done!
7) How can people get a hold of Plan B products? Do you plan to open to the public?
Our website planbgin.com.au is now live and people can buy our products online, we can deliver Australia-wide. We will also be looking to host a number of launch events over the coming months and although we are not open to the public in regard to a cellar door, this is part of our longer term plan for growth of Plan B.
If you are interested in any Plan B products we will include the website address in the comments and if you are interested in our Distillery Course please contact us by emailing info@oldkemptondistillery.com.au