Inspired by a tour of iconic distilleries while attending a medical conference in Scotland, Canberra doctor Toby Angstmann immediately saw the potential of combining his medical background with Canberra’s natural elements to create a high quality range of spirits.
Toby says that while visiting the distilleries, he was struck by the realisation that the Canberra region had much better conditions for the process than they did overseas. “I realised that the natural terroir here was better, the air was cleaner, the water purer and with less industrial inputs, and that I was really lucky to live in the place I lived!”
On return to Canberra, he paired with friend and co-founder Andrew Galbraith (who also has a background in medical science), and together they perfected a unique distilling process and launched Underground Spirits. Their vodka and gin have won numerous national and international awards for excellence, and the business has already begun exporting to the UK.
Toby says that when they first opened the distillery in Canberra’s south, they were floored by the level of local support they received. “Everyone got behind us in such a big way. The reception was unbelievable. We had the local Member wanting to come see what we were doing, and then she helped to promote us. We also had a visit from the Commissioner for International Trade, who helped us open up world markets. This kind of support…I couldn’t imagine it being better.”
Toby and Andrew continue to expand their distribution, and are now preparing to export to Europe and Asia.