White Possum was created in October 2014 to support and promote Australian-made spirits and their makers. We're a small team of spirit lovers based in Melbourne who spend too much time tasting stuff and probably not enough time selling stuff.
What We Make And Why
We're not your typical bottle shop, but we're also not your typical distillery. Instead, we like to think of ourselves as somewhere in-between.
We believe that it's important to seek authenticity in what we use and consume everyday. What really gets us excited is the thrill of tasting something made in Australia, distilled by truly passionate people who often also work full-time to make ends meet.
If the distillers at Applewood, Timboon, Hoochery or Belgrove Distilleries (just to name a few) can make spirits that thrash big international brands in blind taste tests, then we see no reason not to stand by our own and to support them in their quest for perfection.
We see our tasting flights and advent calendars as an interactive way to introduce Australian spirits to those who may not have tried any at all, and those who may have only had the occasional tipple.
Every now and then, we'll notice that there aren't any other Australian distilleries making a certain spirit. That's when we'll use our distillery to try to fill the void, as was the case with our Naked Amaretto, the first Australian-made amaretto, or our Naked Maraschino, a one-of-a-kind spirit that is barely made anywhere outside of Europe.
It's not just about filling the gap though. We're a little bit obsessed with sustainability. A few years ago when Australia essentially stopped recycling glass, we started to store all our old glass bottles (which we sometimes receive from other distilleries when buying their spirits for our tasting flights). Instead of throwing them in the bin, we reuse those glass bottles by delabelling, rinsing and filling them with our liqueurs.
Liquor Scented Candles
The old glass bottles that we store aren't always suitable for filling with our liqueurs, such as those with the wrong capacity or with broken lids. These bottles are cut up with our diamond saw and turned into candles.
Warehouse & Distillery
Our combined distillery and packing space is located in the sleepy neighbourhood of Altona North, a stone's throw away from the bustling heart of Melbourne.
On any given day, there'll be barrels and vats being wheeled around, fermenters bubbling away, a bottling line cranking out some juice and a couple of small stills dripping the good stuff out of their spouts.
For making tasting flights, advent calendars and custom client orders, we operate a fully automatic bottling and labelling line which is constantly being improved by our in-house engineer.
For making liqueurs, we have a 120L copper still and half a dozen fermentation and settling vats which do the hard work. A custom built bottle rinser along with a ton of elbow grease helps us prepare old glass bottles to be refilled.
Our 'Big Possum' is Paul, who likes to pretend to be a possum by doing parkour and eating too much. You might see him around slinging booze or testing out our newest liqueur creations.
Every order passes through the hands of our operations team, comprising of 'Packer Possums' Anita, Karen and Naomi, who all have a knack for packing spirits without losing any in the process.
And if you've got a question, you might be chatting with 'Support Possum' Alex, a professional singer who may answer your queries in rhyme.
We Want To Help The Earth
We're passionate about reducing waste and getting the most out of everything that passes through our warehouse. It's actually a bit of an obsession. We reuse anything we can, recycle if we can't, and send to landfill as the last resort.
We pack all orders in cardboard boxes and use paper based filling material. In fact, some of our standard size boxes are designed to snap-lock on their own and require no plastic tape to seal shut.
Sometimes our incoming deliveries contain bubble wrap for protection. Instead of throwing this away, we reuse it to wrap fragile orders and some of our wholesale shipments.
We collect used spirit bottles then de-label and sanitise them. These are reused for bottling our 'Naked' liqueurs. Bottles that aren't the right size are cut in half and made into candles.
"Once upon a time, a large brushtail possum lay in the fork of a tree in the middle of the giant desert of Gondwanaland. The tree was bare as all its leaves had fallen during a terrible drought. The tired and thirsty possum tried desperately to fall asleep, but the heat on her back was unbearable and she longed for a cloud to drift over and block the intense rays of sunshine.
She looked up and saw a blindingly blue sky and nothing that would help shield her from the sun. She squinted her beady eyes, scanning the horizon. Suddenly, there it was: a big fluffy cloud. It was a long way away. “How do I lure the cloud over?”, she thought. The next moment she had a brainwave: she needed to befriend it and to do that she first needed to look like a cloud! Without hesitation, she scampered off the tree and rubbed her fur furiously on a white chalky rock in the sand.
Several minutes later, she had turned into a fluffy white possum. She waved her paws at the cloud with all the energy she could muster, but the cloud did not see her. She squealed at the top of her lungs, but the cloud did not hear her. The tired and dejected white possum slumped back into the fork of the tree and curled up into a ball. The sun was still blazing, but this time she no longer felt a searing heat. In fact, for some reason she suddenly felt cooler, much cooler, than before.
The white possum slept blissfully through the rest of the day. She had discovered the magic of the white chalk. From that day onward, she became a white possum: a shining beacon of resilience and craft."