Henty Machinery Field Day News and Current events

Ladbroken distilling the essence of the high country in a bottle
) Ladbroken Distilling Co’s Writers Gin celebrates the majestic sugar pine walk at Laurel Hill. Image Ladbroken

Ladbroken distilling the essence of the high country in a bottle

Neil and Robbie Ladbroke are creating amazing spirits using pure, honest ingredients from the Australian high country at their Tumbarumba based distillery.  

The couple work closely with local orchardists in Batlow and surrounds to showcase the rich abundance of local fruit, nuts and produce whilst producing natural flavours from traditional and exotic botanicals. 

Ladbroken Distlling Co was founded in 2020 by Neil and Robbie when they visited Tumbarumba and were quickly enchanted by the magic of the region.

They made the tree change from Canberra and started a new venture combining their love of whisky, gin, and science.

Robbie is a scientist and her passion for the spirits comes from experimenting and collaborating with local growers.

Neil, a mechanical engineer, had been tinkering with distilling and home brewing, kicking off an interest in the craft and a search for the right premises to begin a business.

 “Distilleries are classified as light industry under planning laws, and I didn’t want to spend the next five years in an industrial zone in Canberra – we wanted more of the creativity and connection to the land in our lifestyle, so we took our search to the high country,” Robbie said.

The couple spent a year looking for the right location.

“We looked at a place in Tumbarumba and within seven minutes had made up our mind. The property and town were perfect, everyone was friendly and supportive. By the time we drove home we had already made the leap,” Robbie said.

“We have been going for two years now, picking up some awards in the first year for our Signature Dry Gin and our special limited release Berrylicious, which is made with local blueberries and wild foraged blackberries.

“The real driving force behind our products is we want to showcase the regional produce and growers as the hero within the spirits we are producing.

“We want to promote the region and its assets, the terroir, the food by crafting our spirits in an authentic way.

“We are different from most other Australian distilleries as we source real fruit, fresh ingredients, and hand forage as much as we can in partnership with the local producers.”

No preservatives, colourings or artificial flavours are used in the distillery. 

“We take a wholistic view of the produce to gain as much as possible and reduce any wastage. For example, following infusion in the liquor, the fruits and dried botanicals are repurposed into new innovative products such as our drunken jin jams, jin salts and meat rubs.”

Robbie has established a botanicals garden on site with a demonstration herb garden and forage walk and is working on the “cocktail garden”.

With degrees in geology, psychology and education, her interest in science led to a love of botanicals and gin whilst living abroad and visiting micro distilleries and apothecaries around the UK.

“We launched our first product in the middle of Covid and viewed it as a business adventure rather than a business venture – we learnt a lot about online retail sales and website development,” Robbie said. 

“It was a year later we got the cellar door open. We bought the former plant nursery with three acres which is being planted to a botanical garden and hosting one of Australia’s first commercial crops of juniper.”

The couple has been working with the owner of Corryong Fruit Tree Nursery on the crop agronomy and to propagate a range of unique plants. The old nursery building was fitted out with a food grade processing facility, a visitor space and a tasting room opened in July last year. 

Ladbroken Distilling Co holds seasonal do-it-yourself ginfusion workshops, gin parties and private distillery tours while visitors are encouraged to frock up for the Cocktail Club at the distillery’s art deco speakeasy.

“The speakeasy is a fun way for people to have a very different experience for a couple of hours before heading off to one of the lovely local restaurants in town,” Robbie said.

Ladbroken Distilling exhibited at the Henty field days for the first time in 2022.

“I was astounded – I had never been to a show of that scale before with people there to learn, see, hear, taste and explore everything to do with farming,” she said.

“We had a great reception from visitors to Farm Gate – this year I will take to the stage and mix up some cocktails.

“We will be showcasing our core range of Eliksir Gin along with a range of seasonal flavours, a new range of barrel aged spirits, and my experimental laboratory range of liqueurs made from local hazelnuts, finger limes and cherries.”

Visitors to Farm Gate pavilion will be able to sample Ladbroken Distilling Co Eliksir Spiced Apple and Fig Gin, Gingerbread Gin, Berrylicious Gin, and Blood Orange Gin. 

They will also be able to purchase the Writers Gin, a tribute to Laurel Hill’s majestic Sugar Pine Walk, badly damaged by fire in 2020, and capturing the essence of the alpine environment with notes of sugar pine, juniper, bay laurel, mountain pebberberry, elderflower, scribbly gum and lemon myrtle. 


Related Articles

ANZ helping to build vibrant and sustainable communities
ANZ is a proud supporter of the Henty Machinery Field Days. Image ANZ

ANZ helping to build vibrant and sustainable communities

Agri-Innovators Awards to champion ag-tech creators

Henty Machinery Field Days Co-operative Limited

For all enquires please contact us via email

Days To Go

Site Address: 22 Lubkes Road, Henty NSW 2658

Postal Address: PO Box 107, HENTY NSW 2658