NEXT GENERATION AUSTRALIAN SPIRITS

OUR STORY

Noticing the domination of 'big alcohol' in the Australian spirits market and an opportunity for higher quality, more bespoke spirits, Earp Distilling Co. was founded by brothers Michael and Richard Earp in late 2019.

Embracing modern distilling technology we produce high quality spirits with speed, accuracy, control and consistency not possible with traditional methods.

From a passion for the creative and experiential, Earp Distilling Co. was established to learn from centuries of distillers experiences, to create a spirit brand and distillery synonymous with quality, sustainability and adventure.

AN OCEAN VOYAGE

THE BEGINNING

Our story begun in the September of 1883 on board the cargo ship SS Coniston as it steamed into King George's Sound, Western Australia. On advice from his doctor, George Frederick Earp had departed London seeking the warmth of the Australian climate over another cold English winter.

Settling in Newcastle, George quickly established himself as an import merchant and within only a couple of years the Port of Newcastle was a constant stream of merchandise including vinegar, dried milk, pickles and matches.

An early step was to partner with Mr W.J Gillam to form Earp Gillam & Co. His father, George William Earp, was appointed as Director of Exports from his hometown in London while his brother Frank joined as Partner.

THE HUNTER REGION

PIONEER YEARS

After reports of coal in the Hunter Region, a shaft was opened in 1886 with small quantities of coal sold locally. Realising greater capital would be required, Earp Gillam & Co. were entrusted with operations of the colliery with a registered office in Bond Street, Newcastle East. This building still stands with Earp Gillam & Co. cast into the facade of the building.

The company began the new century as Earp Brothers & Co., with a team of 26 rising to 34 within a year. Coal sales continued, as did imported materials such as produce, commodities and building materials.

An automotive repair shop called The City Garage was opened in 1914.

WORLD WAR 1

World War 1 impacted both the family and the business. Mr and Mrs Charles Earp suffered a grievous loss when their son Reggie was killed in France. Serving as a gunner in the 10th Field Artillery Brigade, Reggie was struck by shrapnel while operating his gun in action.

POST WAR

END OF AN ERA

After the war, the decision was made to end wholesale grocery distribution, followed by the upgrade of The City Garage to the title of Earp's Motors Ltd.
The sale of Model T Ford cars indicated a profitable future, and the produce store closed in April 1930. The end of the first 50 years of the company was also the end of an era.

Improvement in business was evident in 1934 with significant growth in the main product lines of plaster and cement. Arnott's biscuit distribution was a useful line that continued on after the end of the produce business.

To conform with the Companies Act 1936, Earp Brothers & Co Ltd. became a proprietary company on June 22nd 1937, adding Pty. to its name before the word Limited.

WORLD WAR 2

The impacts of World War 2 were felt by the company with Mr Roderick Earp joining the Army. Business was maintained but expansion halted.

Upon his return, Roderick was made Managing Director. A redirection towards hardware and ceramic tiles saw building products flowing through the store, with significant growth in this area.

Arnott's biscuit distribution actually lasted until 1963, a period spanning more than 75 years.

Bringing in the 21st century

REGROWTH

In the second half of the century a shortage of manufactured goods led to the decision to import substantial quantities of ceramic tiles, baths and bathroom furniture.

As a number of legacy Earp business' faded away, the importation of high quality tiles and bathroom furniture flourished.

Michael & Richard Earp took over as Managing Directors from their father John and uncle Tony, focusing the company on the procurement and supply of the worlds highest quality tile and stone materials for Australian homeowners and construction professionals.

NEW BEGINNINGS

DIVERSITY

Having built one of Australia's most respected tile brands with designer showrooms across the East Coast of Australia, and becoming the country's only green certified tile supplier, the only question was 'what's next?'.

Having journeyed to Tasmania to immerse himself in the whisky distilling process, Michael returned impassioned by distilling. Approaching Richard to discuss the potential to open a small distillery in Newcastle, Richard immediately agreed and plans were put in place to craft a distillery unlike any other.

Today the two businesses operate in parallel, maintaining family ownership at their core while building an amazingly talented team to push the boundaries in both industries.

Earp Distilling Co. continues to grow rapidly, with new spirits, events and experiences just around the corner!

ULTRA MODERN DISTILLING

When initial plans were drawn for the distillery, our team had the chance to do things a little differently. We wanted to question the norms of distilling and in true Earp style have never been afraid to ask why done is done.

Unlike traditional stills our next generation equipment is made from high-quality stainless steel and is destined to outlast copper counterparts by decades. Our stills are designed to be run in two modes - pot still or column still mode, meaning we can produce any kind of spirit imaginable including whisky, rum, brandy, gin, vodka and liqueurs.

MATERIAL

STILL OF STEEL

Made from high quality stainless steel, our stills are strong and chemically inactive, outlasting copper by decades.

Copper requires chemicals for cleaning and facilitates the formation of Ethyl Carbamate (a suspected mild-carcinogen), however copper can be useful in controlling sulfur contamination - by integrating removable copper catalytic waffles, we can control sulfur contamination as required.

PACKING

PACKING A PUNCH

The most common question we get asked when someone sees our stills? "What are the springs in the column?"

Our column is filled with stainless steel packing coils to create reflux when needed and open space when distilling in potstill mode.

DESIGN

IT'S HIP TO BE SQUARE

The patented flush square boiler offers many benefits including preventing 'agitation of shearing'.

This ensures we get a much more stable distillation run with more control over what flavour components are selected and harvested.

ENERGY

90% efficiency

Requiring high temperatures and large amounts of energy, every joule of electricity matters when distilling.

Through the use of stainless steel, insulation and innovative design, our stills operate with up to 90% more energy efficiency than traditional copper stills.

CONSISTENCY IS KEY

INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION

Using automation and robotization we get total control over our spirits production process.

This helps us ensure we make the exact same top shelf spirit over and over again. Did we mention we can even control our stills on our phones?

the maillard effect

DIRECT HEATING

The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned food its distinctive flavour. Seared steaks, fried dumplings, cookies and other kinds of biscuits, breads, toasted marshmallows and many other foods undergo this reaction.

Insulated heaters inside our stills, coupled with our jet propulsion agitators, give us direct access to the Maillard Reaction without the risk of scorching.

MORE THAN JUST EQUIPMENT

Our stills and fermenters have been carefully designed and assembled in the Netherlands using the highest quality materials and electrical components. Our stills and fermenters are more than just pieces of equipment, they are an extension of our vision for a new normal in the distilling world, where modern technology is embraced, but tradition and heritage is not forgotten.

GOD OF THUNDER

5000 litre production still

Zeus is our 5000 litre reflux column still with both pot and column distilling modes. Zeus produces our core range spirits, along with contract distilling and new make spirit for our whisky and rum programs.

SON OF ZEUS

500 LITRE SMALL BATCH

Hermes (son of Zeus) is our 500 litre reflux column still which also has both pot and column distilling modes. Hermes looks after our small batch spirits, along with the ever popular Summertime Limoncello (utilising our extraction attachment).

THE TWINS

TWIN 5000 LITRE FERMENTERS

Artemis & Apollo are our twin 5000 litre fermenters with pH, SG and temperature monitoring.

RAPID R&D

5 LITRE LAB STILLS

Our distillery lab is home to eight 5 litre stills which we use for rapid R&D of our spirits, and for our Spirit School.

TRIPLE FILTERED

PURE H2O

Our water is sourced from Newcastle town water - Grahamstown, Chichester dams and Tomago sandbeds and triple filtered in the distillery. As the majority of what's in the bottle is water, ensuring this is as clean and pure as possible is of the utmost importance to us.

Carbon filtering removes chlorine, unpleasant taste and odour, dirt, sediment and rust. Reverse Osmosis membranes remove viruses, bacteria and parasites, in addition to TDS, heavy metals, fluoride, herbicides, pesticides, unpleasant odours and tastes. Ultra Violet water purification is the most effective method for disinfecting bacteria in water. UV light rays penetrate harmful pathogens in the water and destroy illness causing micro-organisms by attacking their genetic core (DNA).

Earp-ssential ingredients

Botanicals

Crucial to the overall flavour journey of our spirits, the botanicals we select are from the finest growers from all over the world, as well as native botanicals from our own backyard. We continuously experiment with new botanicals, tinctures and distillates - which means new flavour experiences are always just around the corner.

QUALITY OAK FOR QUALITY SPIRITS

CAREFUL MATURATION

Travelling the world to source the highest quality materials, we've built relationships with leading cooperages and bodegas around the globe to ensure the ageing process imparts beautifully rich and distinctive flavours to our spirits. We have many aged spirits currently in production and maturation, including iconically Australian rum and whisky.

Our barrels include Spanish ex-sherry (Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso), American virgin oak, American ex-bourbon and Australian vintage casks.