Where Snowy Mountain spirit melds with European tradition
The Wildbrumby story begins with both skiing and schnapps – that quintessential tipple from the Alpine region of Europe.
Schnapps distilleries are native to the European Alps, where the winters proved too cold for traditional wine production.
Wildbrumby founder, Brad Spalding grew up in the NSW & Victorian fruit belt, as the son of a fruit and vegetable merchant and publican. He began working as a ski instructor at age 15 in the Victorian alps and went on to become director of the Thredbo Snow Sports School.
But it was several years earlier, while working as a ski instructor in the Austrian region of Kitzbühel, that Brad met his future wife, Monika.
Monika’s grandfather, Stephen Hagleitner, had been distilling schnapps long before the couple were born.
Enchanted by this rich distilling heritage, Brad studied the traditional methods with a dream to one day introduce authentic schnapps to Australia’s Snowy region.
With its pure mountain water and rolling green hills, they judged the breath-taking Thredbo Valley the most fitting location to deliver home-grown schnapps to Australian alpine enthusiasts pining for a taste of European culture.
With no local distilling equipment available, they imported an Ulrich Kothe still from Germany, and in 2005, opened the doors to the Wildbrumby Distillery.
Traditional methods developed over many centuries, combined with exclusive access to home-grown organic fruit and botanicals, became the inspiration behind a brand new line of liqueur schnapps that proved well suited to Australian palates.
Brad and Monika now sell a wide of range of award winning liqueur schnapps, gin and vodka through the distillery door and their online shop.
As well as distilling world-class spirits, part of the Spaldings’ mission was to create a haven in the Snowy Mountains for the arts to flourish, and a place for visitors to relax and be inspired.
Brad has embedded his own artistic vision in the very fabric of the Wildbrumby distillery and the vast sculpture garden within its grounds.
Art is now central to the spirit and workings of the distillery, and visitors can sit outside and soak up the stunning surrounds or enjoy the eclectic interior right beside the still.
Brad is also a very talented artist in his own right, with a passion for the majestic beauty of the Snowy Mountains. Using snow as a constant theme, he depicts the vast and unforgiving nature of the alpine region in some works, alongside playful portraits of skiing unique to Australia.
Back Story of Wildbrumby
Illustrations Zoe Young (three time Archibald Prize finalist & winner of the 2019 Portia Geach Art Prize)
Narration by Frank Prehoda (The worlds oldest living Olympian at 97, representing Australia in the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina D’Ampezzo)