White Possum was created in October 2014 to support and promote Australian-made spirits and their makers. It's run by a small team of spirit lovers based in Melbourne who spend too much time tasting stuff and probably not enough time selling stuff. As of the start of 2020, we also have an outpost in England.
The Distillery in Melbourne.
We operate a fully functional, but rather compact, distillery in the sleepy neighbourhood of Spotswood, a stone's throw away from the bustling heart of Melbourne. We also ship all of your orders out from here.
There's an ever expanding array of equipment that we use, but most of them are pretty basic. On any given day, there'll be plastic and steel barrels being wheeled around, fermenters bubbling away, a mini-bottling line on the go, and a couple of small stills dripping the good stuff out of their spouts.
The Warehouse in Reading.
Our base in the UK is close to Reading, just over an hour's drive from London. Although it's not exactly located in a romantic area, there's a good reason why we chose it - it happens to be one of the most secure places in the UK. That's because it's located a couple hundred meters from the Atomic Weapons Establishment, manufacturer and gate keeper of the UK's national stockpile of nuclear warheads.
Our 'Big Possum' is Paul, a curious lad who can't resist foraging for wild spices with a bottle of whisky in one hand and a shovel in the other. He trained as an electrical engineer, which means he's good at fixing the bottling machine and not much else.
Every order on our UK store is handled by our small but incredibly efficient English logistics team, led by Mark and Vicky. If an OCD-level of tidiness is your type of thing, then you'll be glad to know that's exactly what our warehouse looks like every minute of every day, thanks to these two.
Every order on our Australian store passes through the hands of our distillery operations team, comprising of 'Little Possums', Ash and Naomi, who both have a knack for packing spirits without losing any in the process.
And if you've got a question, you'll most likely be chatting with our 'Support Possum', Alex, a professional singer who may answer your queries in rhyme.
We have the occasional additional pair of helping hands during busy times, but that's pretty much our entire team.
Why We Exist.
We believe that it's important to seek authenticity in what we use and consume everyday.
We take our hats off to successful behemoth producers of spirits around the world. But what really gets us excited is the thrill of tasting something made in our backyard, distilled by truly passionate people who often also work full-time to make ends meet. After all, if the distillers at Applewood, Timboon, Kangaroo Island or Hunter Distilleries (just to name a few) can make spirits that thrash the big international brands in taste tests, then we see no reason not to stand by our own and to support them in their quest for perfection.
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.
At the end of the day, everything we do revolves around introducing Australian spirits to those who may not have tried any at all, and those who may have only had the occasional tipple. 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.
The Legend Of The White Possum.
We're often asked why we named ourselves White Possum. After all, most possums are grey, and they usually have nothing to do with the liquor industry.
The white possum is incredibly rare, but they do exist. We wanted it to represent the types of products we make and sell - quintessentially Australian but not found easily.
But how did the white possum come to be? As legend would have it...
"Once upon a time, a large brushtail possum lay in the fork of a tree in the middle of the giant desert of Gondwanaland.
Curled up tightly, the tree was bare and 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 thick fluffy cloud to drift over and block the sun.
She looked up and saw a bright blue sky. There was nothing that would help shield her from the sun. But then she saw, out of the corner of her beady eyes, something very beautiful. One large fluffy cloud in the horizon. It was miles and miles away yet it was just visible. “How do I lure the cloud over?”, she thought. But then she had a brainwave - she needed to befriend the lonely cloud, and she first needed to look like one of them! She clambered off the tree and rubbed her fur against a white chalky rock in the sand.
Rub, rub, rub. Rub, rub, rub.
After a few minutes, she had turned into a white fluffy possum. Looking out to the horizon, she waved her paws and screeched as loud as she could. Alas, the cloud did not see or hear her, and stayed where it was. Dejected, the white possum returned to the fork of the tree and curled up into a ball. Yet, even though the sun was still shining as brightly as before, this time she no longer felt a searing heat. This puzzled her. After all, nothing had changed except for her white fur.
Now much cooler, she slept like a baby possum through the rest of the day. From that day onward, she learnt the magic of the white chalk. She never told the other possums about this handy trick, and even today, white possums are incredibly rare."