We'd like to formally introduce you to the new Head Distiller at the Republic of Fremantle, Tom Hutchings.
The UK-export landed this month in sunny Perth, Western Australia to continue his passion for fine spirits in the West End of Fremantle, at the Republic.
With a Master of Sciences in Brewing & Distilling from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Hutchings joins Republic of Fremantle from Silent Pool Distillers in the UK.
After his passion for a career as a design engineer started to wane, Hutchings began to have ambitions of brewing, however, he was quickly captivated by the rich history and romance around the art of distilling, and so – his passion for spirits began.
"Process wise, distilling is a blend of art and creativity with science and engineering, which suits me well. I have also always loved to cook and experience new flavour combinations. Distilling is essentially cooking with liquids – but the developing of a new concept, and balancing the flavours is the creative side," said Hutchings.
Heading up the day-to-day operations of the award-winning distillery, Hutchings will take carriage of the state-of-the-art Müller copper still to craft Republic of Fremantle’s Signature Vodka and Aromatic and Full-Bodied Gins from grape to glass - each meticulously crafted spirit forming the Republic of Fremantle Flagship Range.
"The stills look even more epic actually standing next to them so I can’t wait to fire them up. I love the ethos of grape to glass - making vodka from scratch will be new for me and I’m really looking forward to the challenges involved with perfecting the process."
The arrival of Hutchings spells the beginning of a period of growth and development for the brand. After officially launching in December 2020 the distillery and venue have become a staple of the Perth hospitality landscape with plans to expand operations a key focus for the coming years.
"Republic of Fremantle have an ambitious team with big plans, and I am really looking forward to being an integral part of the growth and development over the coming years, utilising the skills I have acquired producing in the UK."
"It’s a fun, dynamic company where innovation is encouraged. It’s going to be an exciting time as we open into new markets – there’s nothing better than the feeling of seeing your spirits enjoyed on the world stage, said Hutchings.
Officially taking the reins of the stills in the new year, Hutchings is looking forward to welcoming customers to the distillery, working on some special releases, getting behind the still and of course, enjoying a few of his fail-safe favourites, the dry martini.
"There’s nothing I love more than introducing people to the world of spirits, it truly never gets old.
"Customers always leave with this newfound respect and admiration for the premium positioning of the product, and they’re often amazed by how much work and effort goes into each bottle - it’s incredibly rewarding."
Having officially commenced as Head Distiller with Republic of Fremantle in recent weeks, Hutchings can be found concocting spirit ideas bar-side and sampling the food and beverage menu from Wednesday – Sunday until the still is fired up again in January 2022.