Food & Wine

Bega distillery scoops two International Awards for 2019

Lisa Herbert31 July 2019
Gavin Hughes and Karen Touchie have created a multi-award winning gin from their Bega property. Photo: Dave Rogers

Gavin Hughes and Karen Touchie have created multi-award winning gin from their Bega property. Photo: Dave Rogers.

Just north of Eden lies the little town of Bega. Just north of Bega lies a little farm known as Stony Creek Farm, where a pair of very clever people have been distilling delicious crystal clear gin in their shed since October 2018: North of Eden Gin.

Karen Touchie and Gavin Hughes called us late yesterday evening with a certain glee evident in their voices.

“We have some amazing news, we’ve won two medals at the benchmark International Wine and Spirit Competition in London!”

North of Eden Gin have won a silver medal for their stunning ‘Classic’ gin and a bronze medal for its ‘Connoisseur’ gin. This is an incredible achievement for a small Australian distillery that produced its first drop of gin in October 2018.

They explained, “we were called at 2 this morning by the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC), the oldest and most recognised competition on the planet, that judges a pool of around a 1/4 of the world’s gin.”

Gavin seals his beautiful alembic copper still with a paste of rye flour. Photo: Dave Rogers

Gavin seals his beautiful alembic copper still with a paste of rye flour. Photo: Dave Rogers.

Hughes says, “We always knew we were making a quality product but getting two awards from such a prestigious international competition so early on in our gin journey is just fantastic.

“It certainly makes up for all those sleepless nights when we wondered if we’d done the right thing, swapping out our busy careers.”

Only the very best producers and distillers who create exceptional high-quality products are able to win a medal from the IWSC. It’s a highly regarded competition, the aim of which is to award excellence in wines and spirits worldwide, encouraging recognition for quality products.

Now in its 50th year, the competition has been recognising the very best wines and spirits in the world for half a century, and over 400 global experts judge the awards, for seven months of the year.

Both of the award-winning gins are true ‘London Dry’ gins, meaning no flavours or syrups are added at the end. In particular, North of Eden gins are all hand-made in small batches in a beautiful copper alembic still and feature ingredients from the farm’s orchards including their unique native Australian finger limes and locally foraged kelp.

North of Eden's secret recipe of botanicals ready for the still. Photo: Dave Rogers

North of Eden’s secret recipe of botanicals ready for the still. Photo: Dave Rogers.

The Silver Medal is awarded to North of Eden’s Classic Gin with the judges commenting that the spirit displayed “enticing aromatics of spice and herbal notes, alongside classic juniper flavours and a touch of mint. A big gin; rounded and expressive on the palate.”

In presenting the Bronze Medal for the Connoisseur Gin, judges described “aromas of juniper, soft spices and a hint of herbaceousness. Slight citrus character on the palate with a smooth finish. Very well balanced.”

North of Eden’s Connoisseur gin contains many botanicals grown and foraged in the Bega Valley such as kelp from Bermagui and finger limes from Stony Creek.

It would seem that flavours particular to our beautiful region are impressing finely-tuned international palates.

Karen is elated. “This is amazing for us, a little distillery in a shed on a little farm outside Bega, making multi-award winning gin. Who would have thought?”

Gavin and Karen have a lot of work ahead of them, with their plans to open a tasting room and also a gin school on their Bega Valley property proceeding at a pace.

Demand for their gins will only increase now, with the news of this fabulous validation for their work.

But then, we in Bega new how good it was all along, didn’t we?

Link to our earlier story on North of Eden Distillery here.

What's Your Opinion?

43 Responses to Bega distillery scoops two International Awards for 2019

Diane Lang Diane Lang 10:34 am 31 Jul 19


Chris Aitken Chris Aitken 10:37 am 31 Jul 19

Awesome guys.... *Puts on KISS in celebration!!!*

Diana Daisy Trendall Diana Daisy Trendall 10:43 am 31 Jul 19

That's fantastic news. Well done. Esther is the gin distillery at Wennington Lodge still happening?

Jennifer Haydon Jennifer Haydon 10:54 am 31 Jul 19

Malisa Craig for Damo to read xx

Stacey Russell Stacey Russell 10:56 am 31 Jul 19

Congratulations guys!! Well earned, a fantastic achievement!! Cheers!

Nicky Harris Nicky Harris 11:00 am 31 Jul 19

Whoa, go you good things!!!! Well done Gav and Karen. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

David Porter David Porter 11:05 am 31 Jul 19

I am not really a Gin drinker but will certainly give it a try after threading this, great to see some locals achieve success.

Peter Dunnage Peter Dunnage 11:09 am 31 Jul 19

That's fantastic! Well done you two, just superb compliments for your hard work!👏👍😎

Rebecca Lowe Rebecca Lowe 11:11 am 31 Jul 19

Carly Healey Renee Shepherd Jess Brassington- we need to try this place

    Carly Healey Carly Healey 1:36 pm 31 Jul 19

    Rebecca Lowe I think you can only buy it in bermi if I remember correctly

Jenny Robb Jenny Robb 11:22 am 31 Jul 19

Huge congratulations!!

John Tracey John Tracey 11:45 am 31 Jul 19


Christine Welsh Christine Welsh 11:55 am 31 Jul 19

Congratulations! Well done, and your gin is delicious (had some at Huw & Renée at Banksia Restaurant last week.

Isabel Robinson Isabel Robinson 12:17 pm 31 Jul 19

Dean Harding show Lauren please.

Ally J Jones Ally J Jones 12:52 pm 31 Jul 19

So happy for them

Helen Jennings Helen Jennings 1:08 pm 31 Jul 19

Go you good things...congratulations💪

Aakarshak Purush Aakarshak Purush 1:39 pm 31 Jul 19

Well done. You must be most pleased with yourselves.

Mia Maze Mia Maze 2:01 pm 31 Jul 19

This is amazing. I love hearing these stories come from Eden. I know what's on Christmas list.

Amanda Evans Amanda Evans 6:13 pm 31 Jul 19

Congratulations both of you!

Mandy Alexander Mandy Alexander 6:28 pm 31 Jul 19

Just wondering why the name North of Eden ? Instead of North of Bega ?

Jane Cormack Jane Cormack 7:00 pm 31 Jul 19

So impressed!