by L Lynn Nimenski
The Start of Our Adventure…
The start of our adventure with the Longhorn Moonshine Distillery started in 2013 when Lynn and Andrew Osborne (that’s us) who were living in Sydney, decided to take on a mammoth project of rebuilding the burnt-down Historic Deepwater Inn Circa 1865. Almost everyone that we knew thought that the pub was beyond repair and perhaps we were a little mad taking on the rebuild. We just loved the location being right on the New England Highway, the history in those granite walls and just knew that this would become “a destination”. We surprised ourselves that the Historic Inn after the rebuild looked much better than we ever imagined it would, and is now a busy, thriving business with a great reputation for food and friendly service.
This was a real career/tree change for us as we previously had an outdoor advertising business. Can you imagine two non-smoking, non-drinking, vegetarians from the big smoke running a pub?
This was a BIG SCARY IDEA but we took on the challenge and moved to Deepwater NSW and the rebuild started.
During the early days whilst rebuilding the Inn, and to keep the liquor license alive, the pub operated “out the back” from the 150-year-old pioneer built stables which were formerly used to house the horses for Cobb & Co. It was a quirky beginning where we froze in winter and cooked in summer but we learnt the “pub business” in those old stables. Everyone loved the rustic atmosphere “out the back” (once we had renovated the stable as well).
Our Success So Far…
Fast forward to 2019 and the Longhorn Bar & Grill (which is the rebranded name of the old Deepwater Inn) is now a showplace Bar, Restaurant & Live Music Venue for the New England Area with the building featuring magnificent granite walls and loads of atmosphere- it is a haven for tourists traveling up and down the New England Highway.
Our Vision for the Distillery…
The old stables pub now sits empty, but as it had a past life as our temporary pub it has water, concrete floors, power and loads of space and importantly already is licensed premises. All it needed to come back to life was an idea, hence the distillery was conceived.
The recipes have been “Stolen” from bootleggers from the American south and we plan to add some uniquely Australian flavours like the Lemon scented gum tree that grows on our Bolivia mountain and reportedly nowhere else in the world.
The Niche market we are targetting is that the flavours are provincial to our New England area as well as being uniquely Australian. This opens the doors to selling our Longhorn Moonshine product internationally as a souvenir Australian product or just to people looking to enjoy our distinctively flavoured moonshine.
Pure Water is a must in the distillation process of Moonshine and we have been able to obtain access to a freshwater bubbling spring that has filtered water over thousands of years through the pink granite of the New-England Granite belt.
Our Gratitude To Our Supporters To Date…
So far every stage of the Longhorn project, being the rebuild of the pub, fitting out of the commercial kitchen, making the accommodation “up to date” has been a very organised effort by heaps of people. We’ve had over 80 backpackers volunteer in the early days, we feed and gave them a room and they got their second-year visa for doing “regional construction” working here. Our generous families & close friends helped us too together with all our own savings and tons and tons of hard yakka. The barter system and the beer economy are alive and well here as we stretched every dollar to its maximum. We did eBay, gumtree, online auctions.
Then the customers both local and travelers came in, believed in our vision and supported our efforts. They bought food, coffee, alcohol and came to listen to Live music. All the profits were ploughed back into more and more improvements. Our wonderful staff past and present who worked way over the hours they needed to have become our friends. Additionally, our marketing background has helped enormously in getting people to know about the pub and come visit.
Business Advantages From Having a Distillery
From a business point of view, there are many advantages to having a distillery added to the current Longhorn Bar & Grill.
Firstly the Hotel is already a tourist attraction for both Australian and International tourists flocking here. Many more people will be attracted to the area to see and tour the distillery.
The Longhorn Bar will be the first retail outlet for the Moonshine. It can be sold in-house over the bar, by the glass, mixed into cocktails or by the bottle takeaway.
We have a large parcel of 13 acres with full frontage to the New England Highway so the distillery will be visually outstanding.
We already have huge well-established signage on the highway and we have a large volume of passing traffic daily which is advertising we don’t have to pay for.
We are SO CLOSE but we need your help to get us over the line.
This is how we will be using the funds raised from excellent folks such as yourselves:
1. Buy a commercial still manufactured from copper and stainless steel. The model on our “wish list” will cost $25,000 complete with the Fermentation vats. If we do not reach our target we will simply scale the system down to a smaller model producing smaller amounts of Moonshine. We can still add to it in the future even if it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles.
But we are aiming for this system that best suits our production targets. Pretty isn’t it?
2. The old stable building will still need a few modifications (mainly to install a Chinaman’s hat to accommodate the very tall distillation column).
3. We need to fit out the laboratory/blending room. The floor needs a special coating and the room has to be sterile with lots of stainless steel benches.
We have been busy preparing the old stable building and we are almost ready.
We know the Longhorn Moonshine Distillery will be a huge success.
1. This product is uniquely Australia.
2. We have the right marketing/advertising background to get the Moonshine out there, market and sell the product.
3. We have already tested this campaign on Facebook with the video above. The response was extraordinary including queries on where to buy now.
4. We have been testing out the idea on the tourists that visit us daily and everyone is impressed. They want to buy it, try it, invest in it and see it happen. 100% love the idea.
5. We have already spoken to a couple of other liquor Retail outlets including one medium-sized supplier with 4 outlets and they have expressed interest in buying our product and selling it as well.
The Longhorn Moonshine Distillery will be a major tourist attraction, lifestyle destination with the combination of fabulous food and Moonshine tasting and sales.
All sponsors big and small will receive an exclusive invitation to the Grand Opening Party and Launch of The Longhorn Moonshine Distillery on the evening of October 19th, 2019 from 6 PM til late at 102 Tenterfield St. Deepwater NSW.
Please have a look at our Longhorn Moonshine rewards for sponsoring. We are giving you the first batches of Moonshine after the distillery opens. Thank you so much for your help.
We can’t wait to see you all at the Longhorn Moonshine distillery.
Cheers, Lynn and Andrew