A Phenomenal First Year, 12 months of Underground
In summary, 2017 can be labelled as phenomenally groundbreaking for ‘US’ (Underground Spirits).
This was the year that was rich with deadlines, development, production and international praise. We entered global spirit competitions, developed key relationships with stockists and even designed a bespoke commercial spirit (thanks Gilbert + Tobin). We did tastings, food & spirit pairings, stalls, festivals and charity events. So with this much dynamic activity, our team really had to hold onto their hats...
Creativity was one of the themes of 2017, alongside cooperation and total commitment to the craft - and the overall tone had to be one of excitement. On our Canberra botanical distillation process, Claudia (our CEO) shared that: “The basil tincture making I witnessed was sensory overload...that much basil distilled - the smell was sublime!”. And there were other delightful discoveries too, such as learning that Tasmanian pepperberries turn a bright and radiant purple in tea!
Of course, pleasure comes from putting hard work first, and this year, the Underground Team certainly saw its fair share of it. With welcomed high product demand, our relatively small team braved waves of rapid demand beautifully. Undeniably, there were production challenges, and Andy (our co-founder, key spokesman and distiller) put it best: “With such an incredible product comes high demand, and meeting deadlines meant long, physical and gruelling days and nights. But we managed to meet each deadline and learned lessons in production capabilities and prioritisation each time.”
Our international industry success confirmed what the Underground Team already knew: canberra spirits are all class. From grabbing gold at the Global Spirit Awards in Vegas, to our unofficial launch in London, our young brand forged forward and took the global spirit scene by storm. Apart from our award wins, our head distiller Ross describes his highs as “successfully getting our stock into BWS and visiting Tasmania and seeing the fantastic spirits industry down there.”
However our presence and impact was felt at home too, and we have to give huge credit and thanks to all the Canberra locals (friends, fans and family included), who supported us. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Claudia sums it up nicely. "Underground Spirits isn't just a family business, it is a way of life for me and the team and it inspires me every day. The way we work, the awards we've won, the team which work so tirelessly and the passion and dedication makes me extremely proud of what we've created and I am just so excited to see what the next 12 months holds."