Owner, Developer and Farmer Raymond (Spike) Dessert III, fell in love with the Kimberley when he first arrived in 1972 to develop his seed business in the rich and fertile soils of the Ord River Valley. In 1995 with the booming sugar industry in the area, and a trip to the southern wineries of Australia planting a seed in his ever inspiring mind, he found a way to diversify his dream and create Western Australia’s oldest continuously operating, legal distillery. Built on his farm just outside of Kununurra in the heart of the beautiful Ord River Valley is the small pot distillery, which has the capacity to produce over 50,000 bottles of Ord River Rum a year. Our Ord River Rum is thought to be the very first Rum ever produced in Western Australia and is gaining an excellent reputation for being a genuine traditional premium rum.

Spike, the Still and Rum
Coach Tour Bar

Built from local timber, The Hoochery’s showroom is a traditional old country style saloon bar complete with old piano and chandeliers, decorated with artefacts dating well back. Farming equipment and station tools adorn the walls preserving the outback culture that the Kimberley is famous for. Photography captures the rugged beauty of the Ord River Valley and its agricultural success. It is here you can view the barreling room, talk to the distillers, take a guided tour and view the actual production of Hoochery products. You can also taste test the products including the famous homemade “Ord River Rum Cake”, take time to appreciate the local art and artifacts (not to mention catch up on your local history) all whilst enjoying the friendly atmosphere. Now if you are wondering about the name Hoochery - well the name was trademarked by Spike from the word Hooch which goes back to the Hutanuwu (later modified to Hoochinoo) Indian tribe of Alaska who made alcoholic liquor - this is until it became the more popular name for the illegal activity of bootlegging! (Source: the Macquarie Dictionary)

The Hoochery stands proud at being a 100% Australian owned and operated family business and wherever possible using locally grown ingredients. Ord River Rum is made from local sugar cane, Wet Season rainwater and yeast that is all vat fermented, pot distilled, aged in Oak barrels and hand bottled. We age our Rum in 300 liter Oak barrels which naturally colours and flavours our Rum, resulting in a very smooth tropical flavour with an oaky finish. As you may have heard since the sugar mill shut down in Kununurra, we no longer have access to the excess molasses to make our rum. So Spike; being the ever-resourceful person that he is; travelled to Columbia at the beginning of 2009 to look into cane crushing processes there. So we imported a cane crusher from Columbia and The Hoochery now has 3 hectares of sugar cane under plantation on the farm, which is hand cut and crushed to make a sugar syrup which is now the base product of all of our products. Tours of the still are run daily.

Sugar Cane Crop