Today, you’ll find our small-batch distillery in Queensland’s picturesque Burleigh Heads. But our journey first started at Rockhampton’s iconic Saleyards Hotel. Operating as the Saleyards Distillery, we crafted CAPRICORN spiced rum and Billy Goats Gin – named after the goat racing the area was once famous for.
Our founder Warren always had a passion for rum. It started in the backyard with his mates, using an 80 litre still he brought over from Spain. He placed his first batch of premium rum in barrels in 2016. Two years later, Simon and Carla came over from Melbourne to join the team.
From there, things picked up steam fast. We could hardly move for all the barrels that were stacking up. So, we decided to start an exciting new chapter in Burleigh Heads. In 2021, we opened our new cellar door, with a bar, cocktails, free tastings, and tours. We took our new name from the stunning views AND REGION we FIRST STARTED IN – THE TROPIC OF CAPRICORN.
Today, we’re a passionate crew producing award-winning spirits. We want to offer the adventurous drinker something that’s as real as it gets. That means great tasting rums and gins, crafted from the finest local ingredients, free from added sugars, colours, and artificial flavours.
We think they’re the perfect expression of our coastal home
Burleigh is our copper pot still, made in the traditional British style. As a single retort still, it only crafts one batch at a time. This gives us much more control over the flavours in our spirits. We use it for our gins and some of our more exotic rums.
Rocky is a bespoke still made in NSW, based on the Jamaican and Bajan styles. It’s the only one of its kind in Australia and was specifically designed for crafting rum. It produces rich, heavy flavours that you won’t find in any other spirit.
There are two parts to ageing the spirits in barrels: extraction and oxidation. Extraction is when the liquid in the barrel takes substance like tannins and sugars from the wood in the barrel. Oxidation is where oxygen interacts with the liquid, reducing sharpness and making the spirit smoother.
For barrels, we use new American oak and ex-bourbon as well as American and French oak shiraz. The new American Oak give lots of sweetness and colour, while the ex shiraz provides lots of tannin and dryness.
The most important part of our process is sustainability. We love our tropical climate and the lifestyle it brings. We want to do everything we can to leave this place in a better shape for future generations. We’re constantly looking for new ways to optimise our distillery and reduce our footprint.
Queensland’s tropical climate is perfect for growing world-class sugarcane. That’s why the region produces over 95% of Aussie sugar. Because it’s Australia’s second largest export crop, there’s a huge amount of product left over that’s perfect for high-quality rum. That’s why rum excites us: we see an environmental problem that we can solve with a delicious solution.
Our team is uniquely aware of the impact our industry can have on the environment and that’s why we value sustainability at all stages of our distillation and production process. We are dedicated to learning more and are constantly adapting to new ways of optimizing our distillery and reducing our footprint. We love our tropical climate and the lifestyle it brings – that’s why we want to do everything we can to leave this place in a better shape for future generations.