Milking the industry: Meet the Cork men winning awards for their milk-based gin
A milk-based gin made on a farm in Co Cork has won the top prize in the biggest competition for alcoholic spirits in the world.
Bertha’s Revenge, which is distilled in a cattle shed in east Cork trumped over 2,200 competitors in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, taking home the gold medal after a panel of judges blind-tasted the drink.
Produced on the grounds of Ballyvolane House by friends Justin Green and Anthony Jackson, the gin is based on whey alcohol that comes from a local dairy farm in Carberry.
The whey, which is generally regarded as a waste product from cheese production, is fermented to form alcohol in Carberry and then transported to Ballyvolane House, a guesthouse run by Mr Green and his wife. There it is distilled and infused with 18 foraged and grown botanicals.
Speaking to Independent.ie, Mr Green said a commitment to producing fully Irish gin drove the decision to use milk-based alcohol.
He said: “At Ballyvolane we have a farm to fork mentality. We wanted to employ that ethos with Bertha’s Revenge as well.
“Most gins are made from grain spirits, which are produced in mainland Europe. We were having problems sourcing Irish grain spirit when a distillery in London recommended whey to us. We tried it and loved it.”
According to Mr Green, the whey alcohol has “a very different mouth texture and feel,” separating it from other spirits in the “over-saturated” craft gin market.