Shuck Yeah: Never Never’s Oyster Palooza Returns to McLaren Vale for a Third Year

Photo: Courtesy of Never Never Distilling Co
Photo: Courtesy of Never Never Distilling Co
Photo: Courtesy of Never Never Distilling Co
Photo: Courtesy of Never Never Distilling Co
Photo: Courtesy of Never Never Distilling Co
This pearler of an event includes oysters by the dozen, exclusive coastal cocktails and Never Never’s take on the shoey – a “shelly”.

When Never Never started making its oyster shell gin, it ran into an unusual roadblock: where were they going to find hundreds of oyster-less shells? Thus, Oyster Palooza was born.

Held at Never Never’s McLaren Vale distillery door, the event will run from Friday August 2 to Sunday August 4 and it’s a shucking good time. There are oysters, drink specials, live music and “shellies”.

“Everyone’s heard of a shoey,” says Never Never co-founder Sean Baxter, “well now we’re bringing out the shelly. You take ice-cold frozen oyster shell gin and pour it into a freshly consumed oyster shell, then down it in one! [It’s] an incredible way to sample our briny coastal gin.”

If you’re keen to get in on the brine-based action yourself, you can head to its Friday evening session and score a dozen natural Pacific oysters and a drink on arrival with your ticket price. Throughout the evening there will be live oyster shucking, $2 oysters, $5 shellies and live music all night long.

If you head in over the weekend, a ticket will score you a two-hour sitting, two drinks from the exclusive cocktail menu, six Kangaroo Island Pacific oysters with a selection of cold dressings and a shelly.

Anyone who goes to this pearler of an event will also get the chance to purchase Never Never’s much-loved oyster shell gin at a discounted rate.

Never Never Distilling Co is a South Australian success story. It was founded in 2017 by three acquaintances – Baxter, George Georgiadis and Tim Boast – who launched Never Never Distilling Co in a tiny McLaren Vale garage with a 300-litre pot and column hybrid named Wendy. Over the last seven years it has become a household name in the Australian distilling scene. On May 1, an announcement relayed that the local brand had sold the business to Japanese beverage giant Asahi for an undisclosed sum.

Oyster Palooza runs from Friday August 2 to Sunday August 4 at the Never Never Distillery Door (56 Field Street, McLaren Vale). Tickets are available to purchase here.

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