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Festival of Spirits to Bring the Flavour

Far North Queensland’s Festival of Spirits is back from midday on Saturday 10 June 2023 at Hemingway’s Brewery in Cairns with a shaken and stirred vintage circus-styled celebration showcasing the region’s local craft distilleries and top tipples.

Promising colour, fun, and a heady mix of entertainment, Festival of Spirits will highlight the region’s delicious array of gins, whiskies, rums, and more from Wolf Lane (Cairns), Distil on the Hill (Kuranda), Mt Uncle Distillery (Walkamin), Narrow Track Distillery (Stratford), Wild River Mountain Distillery (Wondecla), and Devils Thumb (Port Douglas).

Head Distiller of Devils Thumb Hamish Macdonald was getting into the spirit, juggling fruit and sharing details of four cocktails that will be available on Saturday, including The Devil’s Ruby.

According to Hamish, the decadent cocktail is fruity, bright red and delicious, comprising a mix of signature dry gin, passionfruit liquor, ruby red grapefruit syrup and dehydrated grapefruit.

Hamish Macdonald Roman Haslinger Neddy Bedwell and Dan Kelly prepare for the festival

Distil on the Hill’s owner and distiller Neddy Bedwell said they are going to take advantage of the cooler weather with a mulled sloe gin cocktail for festivalgoers while showcasing their popular Mandarin and Jindilli (macadamia) gins along with the new ‘Pipi’ gin blend of green apple, thyme, sun-dried tomato, and kaffir lime for a more savoury flavour.

Distil on the Hill was established two years ago and operates out of Ms Bedwell’s farm in Kuranda and is all about sustainability.

“Our mission is to make a beautiful product that is both organic and sustainable. We source the freshest ingredients possible including locally grown and spray-free mandarins and our Jindilli gin features native raspberries grown in Atherton,” she said.

Hemingway’s Brewery’s Head of Hospitality Roman Haslinger said the Festival of Spirits, which coincides with World Gin Day, is an opportunity to experience the unique tastes and flavours of spirits made by the Far North’s distilleries.

Along with a strong appreciation for quality and enviable access to the abundant range of botanicals and natural ingredients, our region’s distillers are pushing boundaries and setting the bar high on a global stage for creating distinct and sophisticated flavours

In keeping with the vintage circus theme, Festival of Spirits has a high-voltage line-up of entertainment including circus performances, juggling competitions, sea shanties from five-piece men’s choir The Secret Men, and a folk music showcase from Keesha McLean’s Cairns Voice Studio.  

Known for his juggling skill at work and at play, Hemingway’s Brewery’s Functions Coordinator Brendan Dennis has issued a call out to anyone who can juggle to get down to the Festival of Spirits and show their flair in the air. The most entertaining jugglers will be in the running to snag the major prize of a Great Barrier Reef cruise from Down Under Cruise and Dive.

Festival of Spirits is a free and family-friendly event on Saturday 10 June 2023 from 12 pm until late at Hemingway’s Brewery, Wharf Street, Cairns. 

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