White Light Vodka – an Aussie’s first pour

WLVIndie Spirits Tasting Brisbane is back for its second year at Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall on Sunday May 28 from 12.30 till 4pm. The event, which is also staged in both Sydney and Perth, is all about great spirits and good times. Tickets are just $55 (plus booking fee) online and include access to over 30 exhibitors showcasing more than 120 craft spirits, with master distillers on hand to chat and free seminars diving deep into the world of indie spirits. Click here to get your tickets now.

If you like supporting small brands and uncovering little known gems then the Indie Spirits Tasting is tailor-made for you. One such brand making its debut at these events is White Light Vodka, a local product made by hospo veteran, Brendon Mitchell. He will be showcasing both his original and his brand new premium vodka called WLV47 at the upcoming event, which is just 2 weeks away. We asked Brendon a few questions about starting up your own brand and where he thinks Aussie craft spirits are heading.

Give me a little bit of background on your brands and what prompted you to start them.
Having owned and managed pubs and bars I knew I needed to produce a vodka that was accessible for venues to use everyday. This was what I wanted with my venues and no one was making it. I spent over two years researching how I could produce an affordable vodka which businesses could use as a first pour. My investigating found me questioning every aspect of the process from raw materials to the type of bottle caps I’d be using. Having a tiny budget and ideas that usually cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, I had to make sure every cent went a long way. I put all of my resources into producing the best possible vodka that I could.
As sales grow, the business grows. knowing that my first label wouldn’t last long and knowing I wanted to take the brand somewhere, not sure where, but I had to remain open to new ideas. We like to change our labels and may never settle on just one. We are even looking into having our own bottle made, but we need to sell a lot more before that happens. We know our vodka is fantastic because we have just won GOLD in San Francisco World Spirit Competition & GOLD in Chinese Wine and Spirit Awards “best value”. All we have to concentrate on now is developing new variations of our vodka.

What products do you have in your portfolio?
The Original White Light Vodka is a beautiful example of a clean and crisp vodka. Very neutral flavour that makes it easy for blending and mixing. WLV47 is a bigger and bolder version of the Original. We use more of the hearts in the cuts and we take it through the same chilled filtration process where we end up with a big, bold and pure vodka experience which has the perfect heart-warming sensation. It won SILVER 2017 San Francisco World Spirit Competition, Premium Vodka.

Tell us a little bit about your distillery and your distilling process.
We triple distil and triple chill filter (zero degrees) all of our products. We make sure that we have the right equipment that helps us produce the best product possible.

The spirits industry has changed a lot in the last 5 years, making way for events like the Indie Spirits Tasting. Why do you think this is?
As the Australian wine industry went through it in the 80’s and the craft beer market has done over the past 10 years, we are now getting recognition of being world-class producers of spirits. We have a small and very diverse population in Australia, but I think we are the most adventurous and accepting of new ideas, technology and products.

Where do you see the craft spirits industry heading in the next ten years?
It will be massive. Having a distillery is the new hot thing and I’m excited to be a part of it. I’m finding that the general public are becoming educated and more informed about spirits, especially with the buzz around cocktails and cocktail bars. I think that there will be some amazing products out there as techniques can take years to master and some of the best spirits take years to age.

What are some of your favourite craft spirit brands (other than your own) and what do you like about them?
Too many to choose from, I’m like a kid in a candy shop when I get in a bar full Australian products. I’ll go to somewhere like Bad Frankie’s in Melbourne and be totally lost as I want to try everything. I love the diversity and I am especially enjoying all the whiskies from different regions of mainland Australia.

Are you launching anything new at Indie Brisbane? If so, what is it?
We are launching WLV47 our new premium range which is a cracker. it just won Silver in the 2017 San Francisco World Spirit Competition in the Premium Vodka Section. At 47% alc vol it is big bold and silky smooth on the palate.

Who will be on hand to discuss the brands at the event?
Myself (Brendon Mitchell) the owner of white light vodka and my local rep Leon Lechner will be on hand for any questions and orders, both for venues and domestic.

So make sure you head to Lefty’s on Sunday 28 May and have a chat with Brendon about his new vodka. Click here to get your tickets now.

To keep updated with all the distilleries, spirits, and seminars at the Indie Spirits Tasting events happening around the country, make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, and keep an eye on indiespiritstasting.com.au.