It began at a wedding in 2019 - a few loose words, a fair bit of encouragement, some wild imaginings and a decent dose of bravado. A copper still followed and Geraldine’s first distillery was established in 2020!
Humdinger’s resident tinkerer is Andrew Lewis, a professional engineer who obsesses over making each batch of gin smoother than the last, while his better half, Saskia Lewis, a technologist by trade and a biologist by training, jazzes things up, adding the spice and enriching the flavour!
When they’re not slinging gin, this ingenious couple who dared to dream big are their own general dogsbodies – developing recipes, breaking rules, building, labelling, marketing and making.
Passionate about sharing the art of distillation and Humdinger Gin with the world, Andrew and Saskia are doing it for the love of gin.
Sited in the heart of Geraldine in the ‘old Morrison’s Garage’, the Humdinger Gin distillery has seen it’s fair share of history.
A century’s worth of exposed brick, weathered concrete and steel beams could tell some tall tales, while a large copper still gleams in the sunlight, reddening to a warm patina with the latest run of gin, and beginning the latest round of story-telling.
With flexibility and opportunity at the forefront of its design (and for those with a thirst for engineering as well as gin) the Humdinger still features a 50L copper pot, a 3-plate column, a generous botanical basket and a few secret modifications, providing limitless possibilities for the art of distillation.
Boasting a raw connection with nature and home to artisans, artists and adventurers alike, Geraldine might just be the best little town in the world for creativity and creating. Less than two hours from Christchurch, Geraldine has a quaint exterior but a vibrant soul, much like Humdinger Gin!
The term ‘natural’ is often overused, it’s real meaning obscured and diluted by hackneyed hype and folk jumping on the bandwagon.
For us, a natural product has to be something truly recognisable in nature – the seed of coriander, a juniper berry, the root of orris, the botanical produce we faithfully use in our distillery.
However, these remarkable botanicals wouldn’t be possible without the humble worker bee, those buzzy little guys who begin nature’s cycle, providing the seeds, herbs, roots and fruits that we transform into Humdinger Gin.
But there you have it, both the beauty and the curse of gin distillation – the boundless number of botanicals, providing endless opportunities for crafting the perfect gin. Ironically, the greatest challenge isn’t getting started, but knowing when to stop!
Daring to dream has got us this far so why not keep dreaming for a Humdinger future of epic proportions?!
We dream of crafting our own base spirit in the distillery using sustainably and locally sourced Canterbury barley; tasting rooms overlooking the beautiful Waihi River, a place for people to gather, laugh and sample the gin; and we dream of barrel aging, amber-hued brandy, quality liqueurs and a team of copper stills.
Who knows how far our dreams will take us but what we do know is we’re having one Humdinger of a time doing it and want you to join us on our journey!