Waikato Business News August/September 2023

Waikato Business News has for a quarter of a century been the voice of the region’s business community, a business community with a very real commitment to innovation and an ethos of cooperation.

Waikato Business News has for a quarter of a century been the voice of the region’s business community, a business community with a very real commitment to innovation and an ethos of cooperation.

  • No tags were found...

You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

6<br />

Piko gin wins<br />

silver with the<br />

flavours of<br />

Aotearoa<br />

Infusing gin and the unique flavours<br />

of Aotearoa has won <strong>Waikato</strong>’s Clark<br />

Lane Distillery a silver medal at the<br />

Asia Spirits Challenge.<br />

Co-founders Andrew<br />

Thomson, Andre<br />

Vandenberg, Duncan<br />

Otto and Mark Flyger knew<br />

they had stumbled onto something<br />

special when they tasted<br />

their first batch of pikopiko-infused<br />

gin.<br />

"Winning this medal validates<br />

the exceptional quality<br />

we consistently aim to offer,"<br />

Otto says.<br />

Like many good business<br />

plans of late, the idea was conceived<br />

during the Covid-19<br />

lockdown by a group of blokes<br />

Piko co-founders Andrew Thomson, Andre<br />

Vandenberg, Duncan Otto and Mark Flyger<br />

over a friendly beer discussing<br />

how they might experiment<br />

with Duncan’s small distillery<br />

sitting in the shed at his Clark<br />

We’ve discovered one<br />

of the nice ways to<br />

drink it is with a slice<br />

of cucumber, some<br />

cracked pepper and<br />

just a little tonic<br />

Lane home in Te Pahu.<br />

“We had experimented<br />

with adding different flavours<br />

to alcohol but this was a different<br />

experience (making<br />

alcohol from scratch). We did<br />

a bit of research and with the<br />

first initial taste we knew we<br />

had something pretty good,<br />

we just needed to do a bit of<br />

refining,” Duncan says.<br />

There are several<br />

things that set Piko<br />

apart from other<br />

gins, he says, including<br />

the all-important<br />

distinctive, sweet<br />

asparagus-like flavour<br />

from the pikopiko<br />

combined with the<br />

alcohol which is distilled<br />

in fresh spring<br />

water sourced from a<br />

friend’s property at the foothills<br />

of Pirongia.<br />

“During the journey, we<br />

found that, because we make<br />

our own base alcohol where<br />

97% of gin distilleries don’t,<br />

we get a very clean alcohol.<br />

It's not bitter, it's a very nice<br />

flavour.”<br />

Harvested annually, the<br />

pikopiko fronds were originally<br />

sourced locally but the<br />

team have since planted hundreds<br />

of asplenium bulbiferum,<br />

commonly known as<br />

hen and chicken fern, on a<br />

friend’s farm in Taranaki to<br />

provide a consistency in quality<br />

and flavour.<br />

Their gin journey has also<br />

seen a move from Duncan’s<br />

home still to larger distillery<br />

equipment based at his pub<br />

Biddy Mulligans on Hood<br />

Street in December last year.<br />

They’ve also taken on sales<br />

and marketing manager Stuart<br />

Atiken to help boost the profile<br />

of Piko – starting locally<br />

before moving to the international<br />

markets of China, Japan<br />

and the UK.<br />

Aitken says Piko is a highend<br />

gin and this is reflected in<br />

the price – retailing at $95 for<br />

a 700ml bottle.<br />

“We've been targeting premier<br />

liquor outlets, such as<br />

Hamilton Beer and Wine, the<br />

Keg Liquor Merchant, Cambridge<br />

Fine Wine and the<br />

Mount Wine Barrel. We've got<br />

it in places like Ernest and Palate<br />

and others have expressed<br />

an interest.”<br />

They are currently bottling<br />

around 500 Piko gins a month<br />

and keen to go bigger when<br />

the time is right.<br />

“Our long-term plan is to<br />

open up a commercial distillery<br />

somewhere so it’s not<br />

upstairs (in Biddy’s) and<br />

introduce a few new products<br />

over time,” Duncan says.<br />

In the meantime, being<br />

based at Biddy’s means they<br />

can hold Piko tastings upstairs<br />

at the pub.<br />

“We’ve discovered one of<br />

the nice ways to drink it is<br />

with a slice of cucumber, some<br />

cracked pepper and just a little<br />

tonic,” Aitken says.<br />

Dubbed as the world’s<br />

most important gin competition,<br />

the team have also<br />

entered Piko into the London<br />

Gin of the Year Awards and,<br />

with a silver at the Asia Spirits<br />

Challenge, they are hopeful<br />

for some positive results in<br />

November.<br />

•••<br />

Book a Piko gin tasting at<br />

sales@clarklanedistillery.<br />

co.nz or 027 560 4621<br />

Option 1 - $30 pp for 1 hour<br />

tasting. Three different mixes<br />

of Piko gin to taste.<br />

Option 2 - $60 pp for 2 hours.<br />

Three different mixes of Piko<br />

gin with tapas and a cocktail.<br />

Procuta Associates<br />

Urban + Architecture<br />

07 839 6521<br />

www.pauaarchitects.co.nz<br />

“<br />

Architecture takes you to a place you are<br />

unlikely to arrive at on your own. It is the<br />

ultimate opportunity to make your home or<br />

work environment personal and purposeful.

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!