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June 14, 2018

When life gives you hail, make pear gin

The Inglewood Inn has released its very first signature gin, raising awareness for the plight of hail-prone pear growers in the region.

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  • Story: Johnny von Einem

At the weekend just gone, for World Gin Day, the Inglewood Inn saw a record level of trade tear through their 1857 Distillery Bar for the release of the pub’s very first signature spirit: a pear gin.


The Inglewood Inn can be found at 1931 North East Road, open 11am ’til 11pm seven days.

The collaboration Pear Gin is available at the Inglewood Inn, Applewood Distillery’s cellar door, and at Mississippi Moon on Gresham Street in the city.

The Applewood collaboration was made using locally grown pears from growers in the surrounding area.

“We have never seen pub trade like that up here before,” says publican Milly Howell.

“With all of Applewood jumping behind the bar trying to help, people everywhere, we ran out of glassware. It was crazy. So much fun though.”

While the Inglewood Inn has always made a point of using pears throughout their menu – a given, being located in a South Australian pear-growing region – this project was born from witnessing the troubles that have set upon the industry in recent years.

Hailstorms have regularly fallen throughout Inglewood and neighbouring Paracombe, damaging fruit to the point where growers in the area have lost contracts with large supermarket chains, which deem the pockmarked fruit unfit for shelves.

Fruit deemed unfit for supermarket shelves.

Milly knew of Applewood’s limoncello – made exclusively from hail-damaged lemons – and saw an opportunity to put some of the damaged pears to good use, all the while raising awareness for the growers’ plight.

“Being gin obsessed, I always liked the idea of doing it, so I approached [Applewood] asking if they wanted to do something like this with a pear gin,” she says.

“I thought it would be an interesting concept, and a good way of creating awareness… When we had the launch party on Saturday, I had pears everywhere. And by the end of the night, everyone was eating them, and I was like ‘See, they’re ugly, but they’re delicious.’”

Milly Howell with a glass of Inglewood’s finest.

After six months of perfecting the recipe, Milly and Applewood settled on a juniper-forward, slightly sweet gin, with Angelica root and cinnamon backing the fruit.

“This had a lot more creative freedom – ‘Here’s some pears, do something fun with them, we’re going to support you no matter what,’” Applewood’s Brendan Carter says.

“First and foremost it is juniper that is the primary flavour, and we have always taken a tact of being very heavy handed with juniper across everything that we do… [Then] looking at things like honeyed notes. There needed to be an inherent sweetness.”

Sadly, both Milly and Brendan note, the produce they bought made “barely a dent” compared to what was damaged overall, but 240 bottles of the pear gin was made, with 120 going to the Inglewood Inn (of which 80 were sold during the launch event), and the other 120 staying on at Applewood’s distillery.

It’s true community in a glass, available for a limited time only.

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