Whipper Snapper Distillery using WA grain and going their own way

Whipper Snapper distillers Tim Hosken & Jimmy McKeown

Whipper Snapper distillers Tim Hosken & Jimmy McKeown

The Indie Spirits Tasting is about to hit the road, making its debut in its third Australian city – Perth. Following on from cracking events in Sydney and Brisbane, the team here at Australian Bartender magazine HQ thought it was about time we headed over to Perth with this boutique event that is dedicated to showcasing artisan spirit brands. For just $55 you will have access to over 25 suppliers and 120 boutique spirits, delicious bar snacks, as well as intimate tasting seminars that take a deep dive into craft production and great hooch. Indie Tasting Perth will be held at the Flour Factory from on Wednesday 15th March from 5pm till 8.30pm. Click here to buy your tickets now.

When you think of distilleries, you often think of more rural settings — rolling hills, rivers, maybe some sugar cane kicking about. But not all distilleries live in the hills, and Whipper Snapper Distillery is right in the urban heart of Perth.

Here, distillers Tim Hosken and Jimmy McKeown talk about making great use of Western Australia’s grain, and taking on the full grain to bottle approach on site in Perth.

Craft distilleries are popping up around Australia. What’s your take on the Australian craft spirits market? And more specifically the WA craft spirits market?
In Australia, the craft spirits industry is still young, however education and appreciation for quality craft spirits is trending in the marketplace. As with the growth of the craft beer industry, if the spirits industry can achieve something similar, this makes it really exciting times as a producer and for the general public to have access to some innovative and inspired spirits.

We believe craft spirits is about authenticity where spirits are made through a natural process from grain to bottle and of course support local produce!

In WA, we are spoilt with access to some of this country’s best grains and our local distilleries do take advantage of this.

Give me a little bit of background on your brands and what prompted you to start them.
We began as Australia’s first urban distillery, we really wanted to push the boundaries and the expectations of what Australian whiskey is and what makes it different to whiskeys from other countries. We are dedicated to using the best of what we have locally in WA, the variety of grains that allow us to create whiskeys that are unique to Australia instead of replicating what is done overseas.

Tell us a little bit about your distillery and your distilling process.
Whipper Snapper Distillery is distinctly located in the Perth city area, this urban environment presents an opportunity for us to really capture a sense of Perth in our whiskey. Climate and location are very important influences that add to the final character of spirits, especially in whiskey. The distillery has been built from ideas gathered from other countries around the world and we are constantly trying to innovate and make it better and more unique. Most importantly our process is done completely from grain to bottle on site and through our tours/workshops, we always welcome anyone who wants to know more and learn about whiskey.

What products do you have in your portfolio?
Crazy Uncle Moonshine, Crazy Uncle Barrel Aged Moonshine and Upshot Whiskey are the the core products in our current range but we do have some exciting special releases launching in the coming year.

Are you launching anything new at Indie Perth?
Not at this stage, but our whiskey was released in August and hasn’t landed in many venues or retailers yet, so we are excited to be able to share this with the Indie Spirits visitors.

Who will be on hand to discuss the brands at the event?
Tim Hosken (Production Engineer/Distiller), Jimmy Mckeown (Founder/Distiller), Onkie Cheng (Brand & Marketing).