Gospel Sundays is bringing some of Melbourne’s best DJs to a beloved local venue
08.11.2019

Gospel Sundays is bringing some of Melbourne’s best DJs to a beloved local venue

Words by Anna Rose

Sunday sessions just got a whole lot better at Good Heavens.

Forward-thinking Brunswick distillery The Gospel Whiskey has just introduced a new gig series at Bourke Street’s Good Heavens called ‘Gospel Sundays’.

For the rest of November, some of Melbourne’s best DJs will drop into the venue for something culturally transcendent. As distillery co-founder Ben Bowles puts it, “This is just the start for The Gospel family and we’re really excited about supporting other great venues and music events.

“[Fellow co-founder] Andrew [Fitzgerald] is actively involved in the music community and so we felt it was a great fit to kick off our launch with some good Sunday beats at Good Heavens.”

In some religions, Sunday is a day of worship, and you’d suppose that if whiskey is your religion, then attending Gospel Sundays is obligatory and doctrine. Should you choose to join the congregation at events held across the next month, there’s a lot you can expect to enjoy.

The first event in the series kicks off on Sunday November 10 with producer Matt Nico performing a DJ set. The following Sunday will see DJ Snakes On Everything and GSM take over the decks while Matt Nico will return for the November 24 instalment.

Also partaking at The Gospel Sunday sessions are barbeque aficionados Fancy Hank’s and brewery Wolf of the Willows. All three have collaborated to bring you a chance to win a fun-filled package worth $1,500 – consisting of a dinner and drinks package for five guests at Fancy Hank’s, take-home bottle for each guest of the Gospel Solera Rye, Wolf of the Willows beers and merchandise.

Gospel Sundays will go along way to helping the rising distillery find its feet within Melbourne’s cultural landscape but that’s just the start with Gospel Whiskey, now one of the only distilleries crafting whiskey with all-Aussie ingredients.

“We’re one of the first Aussie rye made within the traditions of an American style whiskey,” says Bowles. “Our product is something different in the Australian market and one we feel people will enjoy, whatever the occasion.”

Bowles was raised in South Carolina, USA having grown up learning the craft from a family tradition of making moonshine, met business partner Fitzgerald in Melbourne where they began their business endeavour in 2014.

The Gospel Whiskey not only honours American traditions but also has a strong Aussie connection with Bowles and Fitzgerald both being very particular about the source of the grain, one grown in the Murray Mallee region, South Australia.

“We get our grain direct from one single farmer,” Bowles explains. “We love supporting farmers and small businesses that support Australia.”

After making a successful business out of Melbourne Moonshine, the pair started turning their attention to producing whiskey. “Three years ago we knew after a trip though the States that rye was something we wanted to get into. There was a gap for it in Australia and fortunately both of us love rye.”

“It’s a very hard grain to work with. It’s incredibly hard to cook, mash and turn into whiskey – we were drawn to this challenge and it’s definitely lived up to expectations, becoming a labour of love.

“The gospel is the truth – it’s not a religious connection but it’s the gospel of whiskey, it’s our gospel.” The duo are particularly passionate about creating the pathway for new and edgy whiskey brands in Australia and this is evident in their newly released website.

Parched and not in Melbourne? The Gospel Whiskey is distributed nationwide and in every capital city through Vanguard Luxury Brands. “We’re in quite a few bars in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth, and it’s still early days, having launched less than a month ago.”

When it comes to delectable Gospel Whiskey concoctions, Bowles has you sorted; whiskey is more versatile than you think. “It easily stands up on its own, but I have two preferred ways I like to drink it – soda, ice, and a shot or two of The Gospel. Otherwise, dry ginger ale and a slice of orange. That’s it, all day long.

“Our product was made for people to enjoy every day and we are really passionate about making this an accessible drink for everyone to enjoy.”

Gospel Sundays kick off at Good Heavens from November 10 with DJ Matt Nico. The Gospel Whiskey is stocked in all good retailers and independent bottle shops in Melbourne and beyond. Find out more about the distillery at thegospelwhiskey.com and at their Instagram @thegospelwhiskey.