A unique gin and tonic...from one of Australia's oldest breweries

In the land of gin and tonics, you have the gin producers and you have those that make tonic or mixers that go with the gin. But it is rare to have the two meet, especially in Australia. 

But now, for the first time ever (as far as we know), one Australian producer has done it. And it's a producer that has its roots in brewing and cordial making too. 

This winter (going into spring) season, we're featuring a gin, tonics and two mixers from Billson's, which started life as a brewery in 1865 in Beechworth, Victoria. The brewery produced ales, stouts and porters until the 1920s as well as small batch sodas and cordials under the Murray Breweries label. Only the cordials survived production to the current time until the purchase of the brewery building by ex-marketer Nathan Cowan in 2017. Since then, the brewery has returned to producing under its original name, beer, and from late 2017, its range of small batch sodas.

In late 2018, Billson's released its first tonic water, which was followed by the release of its first gin and a second expression of tonic water in 2019. And have we mentioned the Shiraz, Raspberry and Juniper Soda???

The upcoming set will feature Billson's Signature Australian Gin alongside its two tonics and two sodas. All share complementary botanicals with each other. The gin itself is quite unusual as it also uses hops in the mix, which are more commonly used to flavour beer. The result is a gin that approaches the flavours of genever, a category which is widely touted as the predecessor to gin. Traditionally made in Holland and Belgium, genever is best described as a hybrid between gin and whisky and is rich, malty and full of botanical flavour. No surprise, given the origins of Billson's in brewing.

The tonics too, have been designed to complement the gin, and features an array of botanicals that contribute a unique flavour profile. Against them, we've included two other tonics on the Australian market that feature some of the same unusual ingredients so this is a rare chance to line them all up side by side.

The gins are not yet available in any retail store as far as we know and you can only get the tonics and sodas from Billson's in cases of 10 cans at a time. Either that, or go to the brewery at Beechworth if you want to pick up single cans. So, here's your chance to try not just the gin, but the tonics and sodas individually in a never to be repeated line up, in the comfort of your own home.





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