October 15, 2020
From paddock to bottle, Lord Byron Distillery take an artisanal approach to distilling. Rather than taking a neutral base spirit and adjusting it with artificial flavours and colours, , we create our spirits using time-honoured artisan techniques which allow natural flavour and character to shine through.
November 21, 2019
2 Lime wedges
2 tsp raw sugar
12 fresh mint leaves
60ml Lord Byron Distillery Silver Rhum
Rhubarb and star anise syrup*
Muddle lime wedges and sugar. Add mint leaves and gently muddle. Fill the glass three quarters full with ice and add the rum and syrup and stir. Top up with soda and a sprig of mint.
Boil 200ml water in saucepan. Add 100g sugar, two rhubarb stalks, a knob of fresh ginger grated, 1 star anise and lemon juice, turn heat down and stir until sugar is dissolved. Turn off and let seep for 30 mins. Strain into a jar and store in fridge. Use within three days.
November 01, 2019
A twist on a classic
Encouraging people to see whisky in a new light is a goal also shared by Lord Byron Distillery’s head bartender and cocktail instructor Billie-Jean Bray.
“Whisky is just so much fun,” says Bray, an enthusiastic whisky fan and recent top eight finalist in Australian Bartender Magazine’s award for Bartender of the Year 2019.
“People often don’t see that side of it, but once you start learning about it and how the flavour profiles change throughout the world, it’s incredible. The variance of flavours can go from fresh and fruity to savoury and salty, light-bodied and easy to strong and full flavoured.”
Bray believes the highball is a light-hearted and refreshing way to enjoy whisky, as well as a perfect introduction to the classic spirit.
“We’ve come a long way in the last 10 years, people are more educated about food and drink, and the idea of a drink being gender-exclusive is fading. We’re dawning on the idea that whisky can be enjoyed in many ways, not just as a nightcap while sitting on a leather chesterfield smoking a cigar.
“I also think the general public is making the conscious effort to reduce sugar in their diets, with the awareness we have now about what we’re putting in our bodies.”
Whether you’re looking for a refreshing new summer cocktail staple or perhaps just seeking a new way to enjoy an old favourite, the whisky highball is a trend worth raising a glass to.READ FULL ARTICLE
September 25, 2019
Last stop of the day is Lord Byron Distillery, tucked away in a corner of the Arts & Industry Estate in Byron Bay. Former renewable energy power station CEO Brian Restall and his family established this business just 18 months ago to make rum and other spirits. Given Restall’s background, it’s no surprise the distillery has impressive eco-credentials: the stills are fired using 100 per cent renewable energy from the power station that’s fuelled by the spent cane from the local sugar mill that processes the molasses Restall makes his rum with. Water comes from a spring on the Restalls’ farm, and the nutrient-rich waste from the distillery goes back onto the farm as fertiliser.
Like the other two distilleries, Lord Byron is keen to engage with tourists and the local community: there’s a small cellar door/bar on site, and Restall offers cocktail-making demonstrations and gin-blending sessions that teach the fundamentals of distilling. Thanks to this focus on education and support, it won’t be long before other brands and products start to appear on the Northern Rivers spirits scene.
Restall has helped another local make his first small batches of a whisky that is currently maturing in small quarter-casks, waiting for a name and a label. At Cape Byron distillery, Eddie Brook let me taste from a barrel of his first batch of whisky: it was filled only at the beginning of 2019 but already shows huge promise. And Tintenbar Distillery south of Byron Bay bottles really small batches of certified organic spirits: the production run on their Cumquat May citrus infusion was just eighty 450ml jars at $49 a pop.
As Restall takes the bung out of a barrel and draws a sample of excellent young spirit destined to be bottled as his first proper oak-aged rum release in a year or two, he – like the other distillers in the region – is clearly having a lot of fun in his new career.
“Doing the thing I love in the place I love with people I love,” he says. “It’s the holy trinity.”READ FULL ARTICLE
December 01, 2018
Byron Shire is a haven of creativity, a mecca attracting those looking to push the boundaries and step outside the norm. It’s also a place where the environment and renewable energy are at the forefront of every local’s mind. Mullumbimby was among the first towns to use hydroelectric power – way back in the 1920s – and that environmental spirit lives on.
Brian and Helen Restell, together with their brother Kris, recently launched the Lord Byron Distillery – a new zero waste and carbon neutral distillery producing hand-crafted rum, vodka and limoncello from its home in the vibrant Byron Bay Arts & Industrial Estate.
On the day of my visit, Brian is tending to the three main stills at their factory – as well as a smaller fourth, which I’ll come back to later – and it’s clear this is the business he was born to create. He exudes passion for his craft, with all the necessary expertise to back it up...READ FULL ARTICLE Edit> Edit> Edit> Edit> Edit> Edit> Edit> Edit>
November 02, 2018
Q: Please state your full name, title, company name and company location.
My name is Brian Restall. My wife Helen and I founded Lord Byron Distillery which is located in Byron Bay, Australia.
Byron Bay is where the pacific breeze first meets the coast of Australia. Looking at a map of Australia you can find Byron Bay by looking for the most easterly point of Australia. We make aged and unaged rums, vodka and liquors.
Q: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the name of your distillery?
Byron Bay is a place of great natural beauty, where the rainforest meets sweeping pristine beaches. It attracts people wanting to reconnect with nature and has a real bohemian romance about the place. Byron Bay is named after Admiral Byron, who led the English Navy at the time when the English claimed Australia as their own. Admiral Byron was the grandfather of Lord Byron. Lord Byron decided that he would completely change the direction of his family’s legacy and as a result of his confidence and also his ability he become one of England’s greatest romantic period poets.
At school, I studied Lord Byron’s poetry and was drawn to his love of life and his determination to follow his passions. Having the conviction to follow your dreams is so important. I have seen it time and time again that if people are doing things they love, they are more likely to be exceptional at it. When my family decided to commit to opening a new distillery it seemed like a logical name, given the location and personal lessons I had learnt from the poetry of Lord Byron.
Q: Is your distillery family-owned and operated? And if so, what are each of their roles in the business?
Lord Byron is family owned. My brother, Kris is the head Distiller. My wife and I are the co-founders. We have a young family as well as run a distillery. It’s a juggling act that is working now but as we continue to grow we will need to bring on staff to help. In fact we have just employed our first non-family member, one of Australia’s leading female bartenders to run the cellar door, local market stall and also help with getting our product into local bars and restaurants.
Q: One of your mantras is that “people deserve to know where their drinks come from and how they’re made”. Do you feel this is a new trend and are craft distillers, such as you, in a better position than large companies to deliver that knowledge?
Many years ago, we went out for dinner as a family and when the bill came it dawned on us that we had been worried about where the food had come from and how it was prepared but we didn’t apply the same concern to our drinks. At that moment we realized that just like food, we should be vigilant about what we drink. we should care about what ingredients are in our drinks and understand how they are made because we are putting them into our bodies.
All Lord Byron Distillery drinks are made with no added artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. everything is hand crafted on site from locally sourced ingredients. our water comes from a spring on our local farm and the molasses comes from the local farmer-owned, sugar milling cooperative.
I don’t feel that what we are doing is a new trend. We’re just respecting the local ingredients we have available to us and following artisanal methods of distilling to make a drink that we think is “naturally better”. Sadly, the more I see of the existing industrial scale drinks industry the more I worry about what all consumers are putting into their bodies. All of our drink labels have a statement on it confirming “no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives have been added to our drinks”. Have a look at your next bottle of spirits you sample and see if what you’re drinking has the same statement on it.
Q: You are using two very different types of pot stills, a traditional all-copper Alembic still and also a rectifying stainless steel pot still. Can you tell us why you decided to purchase both types?
Lord Byron Distillery hand crafts rum, vodka and liquors from locally sourced molasses and spring water. Our stills are tailored to the drinks we make. All the fermented wash goes through the alembic copper pot stills first. For our rums, we rerun half of the collected first distillation product through the pot still and half through the column still. We then collect this for maturing. The alembic copper pot stills produces a fuller flavoured rum than our column still. Prior to maturing we collect some of this for bottling as our unaged silver rum. To make vodka, we triple distill and double filter.
Q: Where do you source your raw materials to produce your products?
All our drinks are made from molasses, water and yeast with no added artificial flavor, colours and preservatives. We source the molasses from the local farmer owned milling cooperative. This farmer cooperative has been awarded the international Bonsucro sustainability accreditation for its growing, harvesting and milling methods.
We source our water from our family owned farm. our family owns a working cattle farm in the Byron hinterlands and the water we use is either collected roof water or from a natural spring that we have on the farm.
We are truly blessed with incredible locally sourced ingredients. We feel it is our responsibility to respect them by hand crafting them into the drinks that our customers enjoy.
Q: Most craft distillers in other countries have the benefit of dumping their spent wash down the drain, to let the municipal waste water treatment plant deal with it, but things are a bit different in Byron Bay, correct? Can you tell us about what you are able to do and not do at your distillery?
Byron Bay is a place where people come to so that they reconnect with nature. I have spent 15 years of my career in the renewable energy industry. When our family committed to starting a distillery we started researching and visiting distilleries and the one thing we couldn’t get comfortable with was the treatment of waste. Luckily, both my wife and are engineers. I was confiding in my wife that the industry may not be for us because I couldn’t reconcile my belief in sustainability with what i was seeing in the treatment of waste at many other distilleries. In true Helen style, she said to me “You’re an engineer, fix it”. It was the jolt I needed. We spent 2 years perfecting a zero waste, carbon neutral distilling process. We take our spent waste, balance the pH and add further nutrients to make a saleable liquid fertilizer. We currently use this to help increase production on our farm and in time we will be sharing this with our customers too so that they can use it in their gardens at home.
Q: Most rum consumers in North America and in Europe are not familiar with Australian rum brands. is this an obstacle or an opportunity for your distillery?
We have always loved rum and when we were younger we had the opportunity to travel extensively and live abroad for 8 years. Rum is such a diverse drink that reflects the region that it is made in. There are so many great rums that remind me of happy times spent with the people I love in exotic locations. Byron Bay is one of those places and i hope that people have a chance to drink our rum and taste the unique spirit of Byron.
A great friend of mine who knows how much heart and soul our family puts into the distillery told me that the real spirit of Byron is doing the things you love with the people you love. This really rings true to us but I still think you can definitely taste the region in our drinks.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your products?
Lord Byron Distillery makes a Silver Rhum sold at 40% and 63% alc. This is a molasses based unaged rum. In Australia we needed to call it Rhum and not Rum because to call it rum it needs to be aged in wood for at least two years.
We called it Rhum so as to not fall foul of this historical law. Our Rhums have been double distilled, once in the alembic copper pot still and once in the column still.
Our stills have electric heating rods inside the stills and we find that during the first distillation there is localized caramelization around the heating rods giving our drinks a unique and natural vanilla/caramelized toffee flavor within the spirit. The alembic copper pot still also provides a beautiful purity because of its shape. Our 40% Silver Rhum is good to mix with soft drinks and sodas whereas as our 63% Silver Rhum is very popular for cocktails.
Lord Byron Distillery also makes a pure cane vodka by distilling one more time through the column still. This purifies the spirit further and after a double filtration process the vanilla and caramelized toffee flavours entice the taste buds in a lovely clean pure drink. Interestingly too, because we start off a molasses base the mouth feel is viscous and bartenders are really enjoying using the pure cane vodka in espresso martinis.
The vanilla and caramelized toffee flavours along with the viscous mouth feel greatly compliment the creaminess and bitterness of the coffee.
Lastly, we have also imported an aged rum to give our customers a sneak peek at what we are trying to achieve. We call the aged rum, the promise, because we hope it’s the promise of things to come. This is a lovely sipping rum and makes a damn fine rum old fashioned.
Q: Where can consumers purchase your products?
Lord Byron Distillery has a web store, a cellar door and sells through the local farmer markets.
Q: You’ve been open for a few months now, what is the reaction from the people who’ve come to the distillery to get a tour and to taste your products?
We love doing what we do and it is always a pleasure to show people around and help them understand where their drinks come from and how they’re made. The reaction to our drinks from discerning consumers and some of the best bartenders in Australia is amazing. Seeing what truly great bartenders can do making cocktails with our drinks is a real joy.
Q: What is the best way for people or companies to reach you?
Our philosophy is to be an open book and we have a website, www.lordbyrondistillery.com.au that has a lot more detail about our passion for what and how we do things. This is the best place to start.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
We know your readers are very knowledgeable about rum. We have been avid followers of “Got Rum?” for quite some time now and believe that the courses your team does educating the next generation of rum distillers is really important to the continual evolution of the industry.
We are very humbled that you have taken the time to interview us as a small family owned distillery in Byron Bay, Australia.
As our business grows we know we will get to know many more of your readers, but in the mean time I want all your readers to know that if they ever visit our little piece of paradise that we would really like them to drop in and have a drink with us.
Margaret: Helen and Brian, thank you so much for the opportunity to interview you. It is great to know that there are wonderful people such as you, producing rum the right way. I wish you and your team much success.
Cheers! Margaret E. AyalaEdit> Edit> Edit> Edit> Edit> Edit> Edit> Edit>
August 01, 2018
Gin lovers, this is the experience for you! While Australia makes some of the best Gins in the world, if you have ever wondered if you could make a better one with your own special blend of botanicals, Lord Byron Distillery’s Bespoke Gin Blending Class gives you that opportunity! They will help guide you to select the botanicals, steep them in alcohol before distilling in a micro-still. You then bottle and label your hand-crafted masterpiece to take home with you!
Where to try: Lord Byron Distillery
Address: Unit 7, 4 Banksia Drive, Byron Bay
July 11, 2018
Australia makes some of the best gins in the world. Tow of those exceptional gins are made right here in the northern rivers by the Brooke (Brookies) and Messenger (Ink Gin) families.
Instead of making its own gin, the newly opened Lord Byron Distillery are starting a 'Ginstitute' in Byron (love the name!) where customers can come along and make their very own gin to take home and share with friends.
Founder Brian Restall believes that customers deserve to know where their drinks come from and how they are made. Lord Byron makes distilled spirites for discerning customers from ingredients sourced from their own family farm in the hinterlands of ByronBay as well as other local growers. For example, they buy molasses from the local sugar milling cooperative, the last majority farmer-owned sugar milling business in Australia. The drinks are all handmade, following artisan distilling methods.
Brian says, "We believe you can taste the difference because the ingredients are naturally better - we do not add artificial colours, flavours or additives. We are also Australia's first and only zero-waste, carbon-neutral distillery.
'At the Lord Byron Distillery Ginstitute we help customers select the botanicals that are just right for them. The great thing about food and drink is that everyone's taste buds are different and also right. Gin is made by infusing botanicals into an alcohol base.
As a 'student' at the Ginstitute you get to select your own botanicals, and steep them in alcohol before distilling in a micro-still. You then bottle and label your hand-crafted masterpiece to take home with you. It's quite an experience, and if you were really selfless it could make a unique gift for someone you love.
You can book courses online at www.lordbyrondistillery.com.auEdit> Edit>
June 06, 2018
Bill, affectionately known as the Godfather of Australian Spirits, and Mark, whisky aficionado, have trained and mentored founders Brian and Helen over several years. As such, Brian and Helen were very excited to welcome Bill and Mark to Lord Byron Distillery last weekend to sample their products prior to bottling. Brian says, “We have been so lucky that Bill and Mark have taken such an interest in us from the start of our business. Our process of carbon neutral, zero waste distilling has taken 5 years to perfect and it will be great to share our drinks prior to bottling to ensure we live up to the high standards they both set in the industry.”
Mark Nicolson is a professional whisky taster and long-time friend of Bill Lark. Mark has worked alongside Bill at Lark Distillery for many years and was a key advisor on the establishment of the popular Whisky Trail in Tasmania.
We will be releasing a very limited amount of our own hand made Spirit of Byron drinks – silver rhum, vodka and limoncello. The silver rhum is a taste of our double distilled barrel strength rum before it is matured in oak barrels, and our vodka and limoncello are triple distilled and double filtered to ensure purity.
We will be holding cocktail making courses and also giving people the opportunity to make their own signature gin. Brian and Helen have sourced another premium, family produced, dark rum from Central America, calling it the Promise (of things to come), to enjoy whilst waiting for the Lord Byron Distillery Rum to age.
Bill Lark says, “I have been lucky to enjoy the Promise of things to come and am pleased now to be a self-appointed Lord Byron Ambassador. In striving to produce their own special spirits, Brian and Helen have sought inspiration from some of the best rums around and I can honestly advise you to keep an eye out for their own aged rum releases into the future. In fact, you don’t need wait for that, having had the pleasure of being able to taste the rum spirit before going into the barrel, I was more than impressed with the depth of character and smooth, velvety nature of the spirit. This will be a rich and luscious rum. Being a whisky tragic, I may now have to admit to becoming a rum’un as well. The most impressive thing for me was experiencing the distillery’s dedication to producing a spirit of amazing quality.”
Micro distilling was outlawed by Governor Franklin (affectionately known to distillers as Bad Frankie) in 1838. Bill Lark succeeded in getting this law overturned in 1992 and soon after started to produce his own distilled spirits. From Bill, the Australian distilling industry has expanded exponentially and continues to do so into a range of Australian spirits including whisky, gin, vodka, rum, vermouth and many others. In recognition of his achievements, Bill was admitted to the World Whisky Hall of Fame in 2015, being only the seventh person outside of Scotland or Ireland to be inducted.
Bill Lark says, “I’ve been making spirits now for over 26 years and nothing excites me more than to visit a new distillery full of passion and a strong desire to produce a product that will tempt the senses and soothe the palate. Brian and Helen are going to make our industry proud and will be serious members of a collegial industry keen to see Australian spirits sought after worldwide. The industry has certainly come a long way since we began on our own all those years ago. To visit a distillery like Lord Byron will impress the most experienced consumer for what they have achieved since following their passion. Their entire process from sourcing raw material to matching that with a distillation program created to produce the very best from the region is a credit to them both.”
June 01, 2018
Komoko Coconut Infused Pure Cane Spirit
We combine our double distilled Pure Cane Silver Rhum with the beautiful white flesh of freshly cracked coconuts. This delivers a rich and creamy burst of coconut that is perfectly balanced by the double distilled clean flavours of the PureCane spirit. Close your eyes and you are on a tropical beach. Enjoy as a mixer drink with your favourite ginger beer, ice and a wedge of lime.
NATURALLY BETTER – NO ADDED ARTIFICIALFLAVOURS, COLOURS OR PRESERVATIVES.
HANDMADE & BOTTLED IN BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA FROM LOCAL INGREDIENTSEdit>
Botanical Spiced Pure Cane Spirit
We combine our double distilled Pure Cane Silver Rhum with a selection of Australian native botanicals. A delicious floral drink with zesty citrus, sweet strawberry, light pepper, herb and flower notes. Enjoy as a refreshing mixer drink with tonic water, ice and a slice of citrus.
NATURALLY BETTER – NO ADDED ARTIFICIALFLAVOURS, COLOURS OR PRESERVATIVES.
HANDMADE & BOTTLED IN BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA FROM LOCAL INGREDIENTSEdit>
April 10, 2018
Our family started Lord Byron Distillery in Byron Bay so we could distil artisanal spirits for the discerning consumer from ingredients sourced from our own family farm and other local growers. Produced with the dedication, care and passion of a bygone era, combining sustainability with provenance – we create an authentic handcrafted product of distinction for us all to share and enjoy.
While our own Rums are maturing in the Lord Byron Distillery we searched every corner of the world to bring you exceptional quality, premium Rums, creating our own Club Collection to showcase how truly great Rum can be - with "The Promise" of amazing things to come.
These Rums are a result of care, patience and expertise. Their unique flavours derive from best practice cane growing, harvesting and milling techniques as well as respect for and mastery of artisanal distilling, maturation and blending methods.
These exceptional Rums deliver a unique drinking experience. We know you’ll taste the difference.
Development of our online store is underway - exciting times.Edit> Edit> Edit> Edit>
March 19, 2018
Handcrafted provenance is about knowing where your drinks come from and how they are made. We believe it is your right to know this and it is what drives us every day.
The journey of handcrafted provenance begins with sustainably sourcing quality ingredients, from as locally as possible. It continues through the initial fermenting and distillation stage, and is completed when the product is suitably matured and packaged; providing you with handcrafted provenance in a bottle. Of these stages, maturing arguably receives the least attention.
A first-class distilled spirit will not meet its fullest potential unless matured in the finest premium oak casks. At Lord Byron Distillery, our rum casks are handmade by an acclaimed Australian artisan cooper; ensuring that the maturation process delivers the best possible drinking experience to our customers.
Seppeltsfield Cooperage is known for their ability to craft casks that imbue drinks with a rich, resonant palette of flavours. Under the guidance of expert Andy Young, this leading cooperate company which, like ours, is a family-owned Australian business, works with its distilling partners to deliver something truly special.
Working hand-in-hand to create the right balance of flavours through both the crafting and maturation process, this partnership ensures that our guiding “handcrafted provenance” principle does not end at the distillation phase, but delivers the sort of uniquely tailored drinking experience that discerning customers are yearning to explore.
4 Banksia Drive, Byron Bay NSW 2481
+612 8646 4901
100% Renewable Energy. Zero Waste.
Licence Number: LIQW88001501
In Australia, it is illegal to sell or supply alcohol to, or to obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years