AllCommunity NewsJosh Kerwicknewsletter

KARU Delivering Quality Community Spirits

2023 has been an extremely busy year for Hawkesbury spirit-crafters Karu Distillery. Since Hills to Hawkesbury Community News last talked with Karu in March, they have continued to rack up acclaim worldwide for their high-quality products.

Their world-class Morita Chipotle Vodka emerged as the sole platinum spirit in the Infused/Flavoured Vodka category at the recent Las Vegas Global Spirit Awards; their three other signature drinks also took home platinum ratings. Their recently debuted Orsa Coffee Gin liqueur took home Best Liqueur and Best in Show at the Tasting Australia Spirit, and the Distillery won a Hawkesbury Business Award and was a finalist in the Australian Women’s Small Business Champion Awards.

For Karu’s head distiller Ally Ayres, who founded the Distillery in 2018 with her husband Nick, says this year being Karu’s busiest so far has also made it one of the best. She says: “We’ve taken on more staff, we’ve got a warehouse in Richmond now, we’re producing more spirits – and we’re able to get back out there after not being able to for so long in the past four years!”

Orsa is another spirit from Karu that could only be made in the Hawkesbury, thanks to a collaboration with Darren Gerbasch’s Little Coffee Co in the Blue Mountains. “We met Darren at a tourism beverage trail meeting a few years ago, and he’s just as enthusiastic about coffee as we are spirits. We approached him and we asked him to teach us a bit about coffee expertise. He made a custom brew for us, and it was two or three months of R&D from seriously getting started with it to where Orsa is today.”

Karu Distillery Delivering Quality Community Spirits
Head distiller ally ayres with karu products and awards

Although the Karu team have been travelling all around the country and collecting awards on the international stage, they’ve continued to highly value the role of the community in their success. “Because Orsa was very much a collaboration of local businesses, it’s been well received by the community – and we love to do those sorts of things,” says Ally. “It’s really cool that after the amount of stuff the community and industry has gone through the last couple of years, we’ve been able to get the spark back a bit and produce something that’s truly a community spirit!”

Reflecting on the year that’s gone by, Ally has been able to find lots of joy among the busyness. “We’ve had more events than usual, more distillation and ferment days, more barrels than usual – and we’re having a real fun time with that. We’re getting back out there and cementing Australia as a place of quality and having the medals and trophies to prove that. It’s been really good!”

Ally, Nick and the Karu team have been hard at work creating plenty of spirits for the holiday season, while also planning a number of other products for 2024. Keep up to date with the world-class local Distillery here:

To hear more from Ally about Orsa, keep an eye on our website and Facebook for a video interview coming in the next week.

Related Articles

Back to top button