I'm recently back from what was an incredibly fulfilling trip to Nicaragua for the wedding of one of my oldest friends. For the first half of the trip our party of college mates surfed perfect waves, crouching into little barrels that obscured the afternoon sun setting straight out to sea - a different experience for someone so used to southerly swells. We caught up on our too many days spent apart and drank a great deal of the Nicaraguan rum Flor de Cana. It's been five years since I've seen those guys but fundamentally very little has changed including our shared passion for talking absolute garbage and drinking quality alcohol. They're all doing what they love which is pretty inspiring given how hard it's been to stay in work in their native USA and all gave me little gifts to bring back to Australia to implement through Faire Ferments. Primarily those gifts were based on basic concepts like treating individuals with love and respect and carrying that idea with you throughout every aspect of life. One such mate is growing veggies in his backyard and selling them to restaurants in town. He's a vegan and runs his car on bio-diesel and he likes to say he delivers veggies in a car which runs on veggies which is driven by a man that also runs on veggies. An honourable pursuit for sure but I think I like that marbled up steak from Lizzie's Belted Galloways to go there just yet.
The wedding was a blast and I've come home full of love but didn't leave the Americas without a quick stopover in the place where it all began and continues to begin, San Francisco. Without a doubt the highlight of my brewery and distillery visits was the Saint George Spirits distillery. Coincidentally Jorg Rupf - the distillery's founder - arrived from Germany in the Bay Area and was so taken by the wonderful local pears that he was compelled to preserve that character in an eau de vie. Its difficult to overlook the parallels between St George at the beginnings of its life and Faire Ferments as it currently stands.
If we can shoot for the towering success those guys have earned then we will indeed go a long way to offering a legitimate destination for a decent portion of Goulburn Valley fruit. I see it'll be a matter of sticking to our guns and striving for premium quality in an environment of mutual respect. Forming lifelong relationships with farmers and our customers will go a long way to achieving that.
I love California.