Meet the Distillers - Mick and Mel Sheard from Imbue Distillery in Ivanhoe, VIC

Anyone who says there’s no such thing as magic hasn’t met a distiller. How they turn base ingredients into delicious spirits is nothing short of miraculous.

Our Meet the Distiller series is a chance for us regular humans to peep behind the curtain, to have a guest pass into the Magic Circle of distilling.

Mel and Mick Sheard from Imbue Distillery, Ivanhoe, VIC

Photo credit Dean Schmideg

This edition of Meet the Distiller - or Distillers in this case - takes us to the northeastern reaches of Melbourne and Imbue Distillery, where we get two distillers for the price of one.

Mel and Mick Sheard have been crafting gin and gin liqueurs since 2016.

Their mainstay gins, The Journey and the Sub-Urban, are packed with locally foraged botanicals that cast deep levels of flavours and aromas throughout the spirits.

A simple sip tells you that these distillers are all about harmony of flavours, integrity in their craft and a clear vision of what makes superb gin.

But you should hear it from them:

1. How did you both get started as distillers?

We’ve been distilling for the last 5-ish years. By trade we are a chef (Mel) and baker (Mick) respectively.

We have a pretty “no regrets/try anything once” kinda attitude to life and found as we were progressively pickling, preserving, fermenting, home-brewing, etc. So making our own spirits was the next logical step.

The physicality of working in high paced/stress commercial kitchens and the emotional toll of no work-life balance had us looking for a venture to call our own, and we feel our food backgrounds give a unique angle to our products.

2. What do you love about being distillers?

We love the “alchemy” that happens when a liquid is transformed into a vapour and back again, and literally what you can distill into that final product.

For us it’s more than a set of ingredients and flavours, it’s about creating a combination that tells a story, challenges the consumer or gives a nostalgic experience.

Without naming names, we have found a lovely balance in our partnership – where one will stress, the other is logical and calm and where one is a bit gung-ho, the other gently pacifies the situation.

The hardest part we find is having family time as in small business you are always working.

Photo credit Dean Schmideg