Never Never Distilling Co. is the story of three mates with a shared passion for flavour and the lofty ambition to create Australia’s most exciting and innovative gin brand. It’s the culmination of our separate journeys, three paths walked that intertwine here in South Australia.
Never Never started with the crossing of paths of founders George, Sean and Tim. All three were forging careers in their different field, George and Tim in finance based in Sydney and London respectively. While Sean was working as a Brand Ambassador for the Diageo Reserve portfolio. All three had ties to Adelaide and it was here where the journey began.
The Never Never is the space beyond the horizon and between the stars. To step into it, is to step into the unknown, it is to seek adventure.
When George ran into Tim for the first time in 5 years it was a watershed moment that went something like this:
George: How have you been? How was London?
Tim: Yeah all good, good to be back. What's next for you?
George: Thinking a distillery!
Tim: You're kidding?
George: No, why?
Tim: So am I.
Tim’s obsession with distilling and brewing is hereditary – a descendant of the Gilbey family of distillers in Scotland, he was tinkering with stills and fermenters in his back garden long before he had a full-scale distillery to play with.
Like Tim, George’s background is finance – but don’t hold that against him. Always a science whizz, he travelled the world researching the skill of flavour production (including courses in brewing and distilling).
He was drawn into the world of flavour and he knew that when he made his own spirits it would be in his hometown of Adelaide, inspired by the quality artisanship for which the region is known.
Sean came from a hospitality background being a career bartender and keen cook (a Masterchef contestant, in fact!). He is well acquainted with the output end of the flavour making process as well as having the marketing and brand management know-how which comes from working as a National Brand Ambassador for Diageo.
So, the scene is set, and as with a lot of good Aussie stories, the next act begins over a pint in a pub. Three mates with a love of flavour and craftmanship decide to pool their money for the final piece of the puzzle – a 300L pot and column hybrid still which they named Wendy. They set her up in the back of a brewery on the outskirts of Adelaide, and the adventure began.
Both the name and their love of adventure is inspired by the Never Never - the vast Australian expanse of the Australian outback that stretches beyond the horizon.
To step into the Never Never is to journey into the unknown - and for Never Never, that meant leaving established careers to start a distillery with the ambition to leave a global mark on the gin category - that is a commitment to adventure and a real step into the unknown.
The Never-Never Country | Henry Lawson | 1901
To where 'neath glorious the clustered stars
The dreamy plains expand —
My home lies wide a thousand miles
In the Never-Never Land..