Chris Pratt is a Scot with a soft brogue and a deep passion for gin. His interest in the spirit came from his fascination with beer and whisky. It was when he met a man called Scott who had created Red Duck Beer and who was equally passionate about fine craft beer and spirits that they joined forces in 2016 to create Kilderkin Distillery. It didn’t happen overnight. It was the culmination of many years of dreaming combined with very careful planning. Chris says; “It was hard to get started and took a lot of investment in time and effort, but we got in at a good time although there was already considerable competition. Feedback in those early days confirmed that we had a really good product.” Chris went on to say “Our target was to penetrate the market in Victoria and then to move on to Australia wide distribution. The next step is to move into the international market”.
It has only been since the 1990’s when the law was changed in Australia to allow for small scale distilling that has enabled boutique distillers to enter the market place. Chris says, “associated with that, the public interest has really changed over the years, specifically in brewing. People are wanting quality over quantity as can also be seen in the food industry. We’ve found that the demographics have also changed with people in their twenties being very interested and knowledgeable in today’s gins. The other demographic is the older generation who always drank a budget gin such as Gilbeys or Gordons. Many have now moved to craft gin, taking them away from the lower cost variety, thus providing the right level of mix.”
Asked where he sees the industry going, Chris said he feels that there is scope for considerably more growth and as Australia, in terms of market interest, typically follows the US and the UK, interest in and potential for craft distilling is enormous. Chris went on to say, “the Victorian Government is very supportive, especially in artisan areas like distilling, brewing, food production and small scale agriculture. They are very encouraging for ongoing growth in these areas and assist broadly with grants and other support structures. “
Kilderkin signature Larrikin Gins called Scoundrel, Original Larrikin, Buccaneer and Barrel-aged invoke images of our pioneering days, placing them into the Australian psyche. Chris along with his partner Rebecca and Scott and his partner Vanessa have established a range of gins they believe is perfect for all occasions. Kilderkin Distillery is located in Ballarat where tastings of gin and Red Duck beers are available. http://kilderkindistillery.com.au – http://redduckbeer.com.au