Sunshine & Sons Shining on a Bigger Stage
Tony Cox discovers how one of our favourite local distillers are taking the Sunshine Coast flavours onto the national and international stage.
Prior to establishing the award-winning Sunshine & Sons, Matt Hobson had a pretty clear vision of what he wanted to achieve – to become a nationally-recognised craft spirit brand.
Matt saw how Victoria had Four Pillars, New South Wales had Archie Rose and Western Australia had West Winds as craft distillers making a name on the national stage and felt that there was an opportunity for a Queensland craft distiller to fly the flag on the same level.
Never one to shirk a challenge, the distillery amongst the rolling green hills of Woombye, was set up from day one with enough scope to scale up and supply volumes required to achieve that goal.
Coming up to three years’ young Sunshine & Sons are now the largest craft spirit brand in Queensland and the fastest growing craft spirit brand in the State – all achieved from commencement under a pandemic economy.
In fact, the 12 months from 2021-2022 saw the business grow 10-fold in a 12-month period. Nothing like a lockdown to make people thirsty.
With distribution in both key national retailers underpinning that growth, the next step has been to partner with Proof Drinks International to open national channels across both the gin-led Sunshine & Sons business and the Nil Desperandum rum operation.
Whilst all this growth is exciting the team always ensure they are loyal to their Sunshine Coast location and to the people that reside here.
There continues to be seasonal releases incorporating local produce grown and farmed on the Sunshine Coast which are only available at the distillery door. For instance, the Love Dragon Gin features gin infused with local Red Dragonfruit and Kaffir Lime – perfectly timed for its release on Valentine’s Day.
We can’t forget that a key part of the distillation process is the magical Woombye Water that is gravity-filtered through millennia-old Sunshine Coast volcanic rock and in addition, their organically-certified waste from rum production is used for feedstock in dairy and beef cattle, contributing to a more circular vision within the agriculture cycle. Anyone for a rum(p) steak?
There are also considerable contributions to Not-for Profits and charities with their Kherson Liberation Gin and Patron’s Peace Vodka already raising more than $30,000 to help fund metal detectors to locate land mines in Ukraine.
Featuring the work of street artist Yuriy Krasnoshchok, the Kherzon Liberation Gin, features his uplifting image of Jumpman, a sign of hope and liberation; while Patron’s Peace Vodka was released to mark the anniversary of a whole year without peace for the people of Ukraine. The label again featuring Yuri’s artwork, this time honouring Patron, the Jack Russell Terrier who received a medal from Ukrainian President Zelensky for his heroic efforts locating unexploded land mines and ordinances.
At a local level, the Laguna Bay Dry Gin supports the Board Meeting Surf Charity which has been operating for close to 20 years and assists Sunshine Coast children with disabilities, mostly through the provision of equipment or learning aides.
In three short years Sunshine & Sons are well on the path to achieving Matt’s initial vision of having a highly respected craft spirit brand with national penetration.
Never one to rest on his laurels, we can only ensure that we continue to visit the distillery door next door to the Big Pineapple at Woombye to sample the seasonal releases and try the expanding range.
Just as important is to ask for a Sunshine & Sons G&T at your favourite Sunshine Coast and Noosa watering holes.
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