Nestled in picturesque hills close to Toowoomba, a quiet gin revolution is underway. In a captivating corner of South East Queensland, where the views are never ending, HopScotch Distillers has brought an age old tradition into the 21st century. From the grower to the glass, head distiller Matt has carefully selected synergies in his botanicals to create distinctive, enticing, and quite novel gin concoctions.
Keeping the Gin Revolution alive, his journey began as a young engineer with South African Breweries in Cape Town, 2002, where he found passion for the more creative side of engineering! From a first “cobbled together” still using plumbing parts and clutching a range of recipes, Matt developed his knowledge – eventually consulting across Australia and travelling the world to work on other craft distillery and brewery designs. It also helped fund and perfect the design for his own distillery. And, in case you are wondering about the name, with hops in brewing and scotch in spirits, the ‘name of the designing game’ resulted in this side-hustle earning the name Hopscotch. It’s now also the name of the distillery on the hill.
Hopscotch Distillers pride themselves on embracing the true essence of one’s surroundings. With a deep respect for nature, they use 100% rainwater, and 100% solar power in their operation and products. And whilst they don’t grow all their botanicals they do grow some signature ingredients. They have also carefully cultivated relationships with local businesses, ensuring that the success of Hopscotch will also support the growth of other local suppliers in our immediate community. So the next time you purchase one of their exquisite and finely hand-crafted bottles of delight, know that the process aids, sugars, labels, foils, shrinks, boxes, and bags are all from local companies within 100km of Toowoomba, and what is not – is Australian made sourced nationally.
The Gin Revolution Continues
Beyond an idyllic setting and exceptional botanicals, Hopscotch Distillers are committed to the craft of gin-making. With meticulous attention to detail, Matt, an expert distiller, has blended traditional technique with innovative approaches and creates spirits that are both familiar and yet delightfully surprising. Take for example the world first colour-changing rose Gin. Or the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the Ginius! – a flavour changing sipping gin.
Their processes involve unique recipes for each product, with some involving the pre-steeping of botanicals in the boiler pot, whilst others are based only on infusing the botanicals following the London Dry style, and some, further use compounding of botanicals thereafter – or any combinations of these. Two of the recipes are of historic styles – paying respect to the deep history of gin. In fact one of the recipes , Ginuine Old Tom is based upon what could arguably be the very definition of Gin – an 1875 Encyclopedia Britannica listed recipe.
What is inarguable though, is that each bottle holds a taste of our region’s character and a reflection of the passion that goes into every batch. Whether you’re a gin enthusiast or just a lover of unique products and flavors, or just like a bit of magic in your drink – a visit to the Hopscotch stall at the Toowoomba Farmers Markets is going to be an opportunity to immerse yourself in a little more of the beauty of the Toowoomba and what our region has to offer… oh, and be part of the gin revolution movement and savor an exceptional gin created with dedication and skill.