Better Together: James From Brix Distillers
We believe we are better together. Australian tonic tastes better with Australian gin, the sun feels better when you've got water to keep you hydrated, and more collaboration leads to more fresh ideas, interesting mixes and curious combinations.
These are trying times for us all and our hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit. It's in times like these that help us to look at who we are and recognize that we are all in this together. We want to work with our neighbours, local communities and all who call Australia home because - let's face it - no one can do it alone, and frankly, we are Better Together.
We want to spur more discussion and more collaboration and as part of this, we're going to start introducing you to some of the absolute legends in the F&B industry that we know and love so that you'll come to feel the same way.
Introducing James from Brix Distillers! James is laidback and relaxed in manner, incredibly motivated, humble and a maker of really, really good Australian rum alongside the rest of the team at Brix.
Would you mind giving a short introduction of yourself for the folks across Australia?
My name is James Christopher and I am Co-Founder & Operations/Collaborations Manager at Brix Distillers. We are a craft rum distillery located in the heart of Sydney, setting out to change the perception of rum in Australia.
What does it mean to be Australian to you?
For me, being Australian is about looking at life through a positive & open set of eyes, (whilst also having the ability to laugh at yourself every now and then when you fuck up). To have an Australian rum brand that challenges the norm and does its best to represent a new and forward-thinking type of rum drinker is a great feeling, but we have a good laugh too...
Tell us about your product? How is it made, how do you source the materials? What makes you guys a bit different?
Our rums vary in style and they all can be used in a variety of ways. We do our best to source ingredients & barrels locally and get to know the people we buy from so we know exactly what we are using. We branch out a bit with small-batch releases using unusual and unique ingredients that show how versatile and playful rum can be.
Brix White is made using premium molasses from QLD sugar refineries. Our Head Distiller Shane Casey has set out to produce a white rum that shows amazing character and reflects the best of Australia's sugar canefields. Very different from other white rums & an awesome cocktail mixer.
Brix Gold Rum is a delicious and unique blend of 5-year-old & 8-year-old bourbon barrel-aged rums that makes the ultimate Rum Old Fashioned or even just as a great sipper.
Brix Spiced Rum infuses some amazing local ingredients like Native Lemongrass, Native Bush Currants, mango, macadamia & Aussie grown grapefruits and can be teamed up with citrus or fruity flavours or matched with nuttiness, chocolate or coffee. So bloody good!
What is your goal in what you do or what is the message you hope to get out?
Our goal has always been to expose people to the world of rum and show them that rum should be appreciated alongside the likes of whiskys, bourbons and gins. In Australia, rum has seemed to develop negative connotations. We want to change that image and show that when it has been well crafted with great ingredients, skilled distillers & unique processes, rum can be catapulted into greatness. It is fun, versatile, reflective of its origin & doesn't have the stuffy rules of other spirits.
Who are some local heroes or brands that inspire you?
Such a hard question to answer! All of the craft distilleries around the country are helping to change the course of our industry in Australia by speaking a common language based around quality, provenance & growth.
Our mates at Husk, situated on an amazing sugarcane field which they harvest & distil the cane juice, are helping lead the charge with the rum category in Australia. If you get the chance, you have to visit their fantastic distillery.
Adelaide Hills Distillery also has a strong passion for local, craft spirits and I love the spins they put on their spirits.
I also love what the Sydney craft beer scene has achieved over the past 10 years or so. All the breweries that have started up have done amazing jobs of differing themselves with products and branding. It's very hard to find a bad craft beer in Sydney! Latest go to is White Bay Sunny Pale.
What are some of your favourite bars and restaurants in your city?
Apart from the Thai joint that I frequent every Thursday night for a cheeky Pad See Ew with chicken and tofu after finishing work? I like to keep it local and casual so I love the Strawberry Hills Hotel for a few drinks on a Sunday arvo, 4 Pines Burger Bar in Surry Hills does a great burger & boilermaker, one metre pizza at Via Napoli or Chin Chin's Feed Me menu for a good night out with mates. For more rum related expeditions, I can's go past Lobo or Jacoby's for cocktails and their amazing rum selections.
If you had to pick the signature Sydney late night had a few cocktails meal, what would it be?
For late nights, I'd have to stick to the golden triangle of bars in Darlinghurst. Bitter Phew for a couple of beers, Big Poppa's for dinner and a few cocktails and then onto Shady Pines for more of everything! It's a short walk home from there...
What’s your go-to Brix and CAPI Cocktail?
Brix Spiced Rum with CAPI Blood Orange. Fancy it up with a sprig of mint or rosemary and some bitters. Can't beat it.
Click here to check out Brix Distillers' incredible range of rum.