Bickford’s is commonly known for their great cordials that we enjoy in the hotter months though now they will be known for their brandy. The stigma of brandy being for old ladies in the evening is about to be shattered with a campaign to modernize this classic drink. All you grandmas, nannas, nonnas or distinguished elderly ladies, you are still welcome to a glass though!
On the 23rd September at 6.23pm, Bickford’s officially launched its new $6.6 million 23rd Street Distillery in Renmark. This revamped century-old Renmano site snatched its name from its location on the 23rd street. Us city folks had the pleasure of attending a launch that took place in the middle of Adelaide on Rundle Mall under the canopy. A pop-up bar supplied us with samples of their brandy, gin and hybrid whiskey. The State Tourism Minister and Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Leon Bignell, had the honour of officially opening it.
I got to try their wares like ‘Not your nanna’s Brandy’ and ‘Prime 5’ Brandy. Trying ‘Not your nanna’s brandy’ definitely punched my taste buds and I think it would have your nanna on her back with this one. If that is your intention, subdue that loving lady because if you have had enough questions about the internet or technology this is your weapon! The Prime 5 was a bit smoother and would appeal to a wider audience. Coming close to summer the signature gin was very popular on the night with the classic G and T making the rounds. Hybrid whiskey was calling my name so I was poured a sample neat. It was smooth and almost like syrup becoming my favourite on the night. The artwork used on the bottles are uniform enough to let you know they are from the same range but uniquely different.
I have not personally been to Renmark but it is great to see another South Australian attraction being brought to life as they expect to get 30,000 visitors each year to have a look at this new distillery. Maybe I will be one of them and have an encore of the drinks I had at the launch. This will hopefully reignite a passion for distilling in South Australia and create a larger market. Included in the distillery is an on-site museum showcasing its illustrious history with items donated from the community and past employees. This visitor centre promises to become the Riverland’s major tourist hotspot. They will be offering tours and tastings.
Coupled with all this excitement is the knowledge that Bickfords will be sourcing local ingredients from local producers wherever possible. A great win for SA and for those who enjoy a wider variety for their liquor collection!
23rd Street Distillery
Corner of 23rd Street and Renmark Avenue