Never Never Distilling Co.
A career in gin was written in Tim Boast’s DNA. The lead distiller and co-founder of Never Never Distilling Co. and Bachelor of Commerce graduate’s grandmother was connected to Gilbey’s Gin.
“At family gatherings in the UK, there was always a G&T, sherry or Spanish wine served and accompanied by a story about our connection to the product or industry,” said Tim.
“Sadly, when my grandmother passed away, I realised my connection to her and the industry was going to be lost. So I decided that I would start a gin distillery to keep the connections alive.”
For fellow co-founder George Georgiadis’ passion for “complex flavours and South Australia’s incredible food and beverage industry” ultimately led him to the brand’s signature spirit, gin.
Sales and marketing guru Sean Baxter’s hospitality career saw “years working as an ambassador telling other people’s brand stories [and] it was time to write a few of my own.”
Their mutual love of gin is mirrored by the shared connections that initially brought them together, with Tim and George meeting in typical Adelaide fashion.
“There’s only one or two degrees of separation between us,” explained Tim.
“We kind of knew each other, then kind of worked together and had a whole bunch of common friends at the University,” added George.
When Queensland-born Sean later followed his heart to Adelaide, equipped with a wealth of hospitality experience, he was introduced to the duo and the rest, as they say, was history.
“I studied law with Tim’s partner Amy, who in turn introduced Tim to Sean through her friend who is now Sean’s partner. You get the picture,” explained George.
It’s unsurprising then, that the three understand the value of strong networks.
For George, this stems from his university days where he said his relationships with alumni “are still some of my most important relationships today.”
For industry veteran Sean, professional and personal relationships underpin some of the most important experiences of his career.
“Drinking knock-off beers with mates who would grow to become some of the most influential hospitality professionals in the country spruiking our gin to every willing punter,” he described.
“Laughing with barbacks who I used to train in my 20s who would later go on to become bartenders, then bar managers, then group managers, then venue owners who would go on to put our gin in every one of their venues.
“The importance of networks doesn’t just exist in high flying corporate enterprises, they exist at every level of professional development. Making sure you’re connected within the industry you operate in is crucial to success.”
Since teaming up to launch Never Never Distilling Co. in 2017, George, Sean and Tim have proved to be a winning combination and an industry force to be reckoned with.
Their Southern Strength Gin was named the World’s Best Classic Gin at the World Gin Awards in London earlier this year, their Juniper Freak Gin was awarded Australia’s Best Navy Gin, and the distillery earned a gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in May last year.
Despite the accolades, the three find equal satisfaction in the little wins.
“As George always loves to point out, the one constant is that we’re in the business of moving cases out the door, sometimes it’s in ones and twos, sometimes it’s in pallets,” said Sean.
“We celebrate every win and never forget the importance of cash flow to a small business.”
On a personal level, such moments include watching past colleagues and peers enjoy Never Never’s products.
“I still remember having a martini made with our gin at Black Pearl in Melbourne, one of Australia’s best bars and a bar that has taught me so much about bartending. It was a surreal moment,” he said.
And there are more wins yet to come, with the team’s “forever home” slated to open in McLaren Vale in late-2019.
“We’ve always wanted to work in that incredible region where hills, vines and sea come together,” said George.
The trio will “finally make that dream a reality” with the new location encompassing distilling operations, a cellar door, bar and tours with views of the southern Mount Lofty Ranges.
“Nestled right in the heart of McLaren Vale, it will be the closing of one chapter and the beginning of another,” said Sean.
“Right from the outset, we have wanted a brand home to call our own. Come December at Chalk Hill, we will finally make that dream a reality.”