Strait Brands

When Lt Col William Paterson alighted on the beach at West Arm in 1804 to found just the third British settlement in Australia, after Sydney and Hobart, his immediate target was a plentiful water supply for the community of free settlers, military personnel and convicts.

He discovered the prolific source of fresh spring water flowing into what would become the York Town Rivulet and onwards into the Tamar River.

Paterson was also a botanist who sent back flora, fossicked in the hills above York Town, to London for study by Sir Joseph Banks.

That combination of super-soft spring water and local botanicals has even more relevance today, as York Town has become the home of the international award winning Strait Dry Gin and a range of spirits that depend critically on the abundant source.

The water has a unique journey from beneath the Nawrawntapu National Park, descending through 280 million year old gravel – the world’s most natural filter - and hitting a layer of clay, at which point it surfaces, flowing unrestricted at a rate of about half a million litres per day.

It is remarkably low in calcium, which lends itself perfectly to the production of spirits and delivers a smoothness most drinkers can only dream about.

Strait Brands’ founder Philip Ridyard is one of the pioneers of spirits in Tasmania, devising the first premium vodka and gin in Australia in 2006, and in Strait Dry Gin and Strait Tasmanian Native Pepperberry Vodka, two medal winners at the International Wine & Spirits Competition the same year.

The historical connection with local botanicals is highly relevant, since Strait launched the first commercially-produced Australian sloe gin, from blackthorn hedging, in 2010, and in 2016 the world’s first hazelnut gin from locally grown nuts.

Philip Ridyard continually leads innovation and has a personal commitment to creating flavoured spirits using the harvests delivered by growers in the Tamar Valley, and beyond.


85 Badger Head Road, York Town TAS 7270
p: 0418 318 000
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