• News
  • 08.09.2022

Get to know the people behind the Sunshine Coast’s favourite craft distillery

Our home and distillery are situated in the beautiful hinterland rainforest of the Sunshine Coast, neighbouring and just a short drive from Queensland’s renowned and much-loved Big Pineapple. It is here that we make and distribute our Sunshine & Sons spirits and Nil Desperandum Rum. But who is the team behind Sunshine & Sons and Nil Desperandum? Here’s one question each with three of our crew.


Adam Chapman – Head Distiller

What’s your distilling experience?

I spent 33 years in winemaking, working overseas, in the Barossa, and in France with The English Wine Company. I had a bit of a wake-up call after a few family health shakeups – at the time, I was at the Institute of Masters of Wine and wasn’t happy. I was thinking about becoming a brewer because I love beer, but my wife shook some sense into me and reminded me of my love of spirits, and my history in wine and beer education, and prompted me to start distilling.


I earned my first after 2 years at the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. After 10 years of education, I was keen to finally start shaking it all up. So, I teamed up with Michael and Matt. I was instantly hooked on distilling because it is the perfect way to combine the science from my winemaking background and bring my knowledge of microbiology and chemistry into the distilling process. But it wasn’t enough for me – I needed to know more because I was dealing with a dangerous product and wanted it to be safe and clean above all. But I’m still absolutely addicted and always working hard to perfect my craft.

Michael Conrad – Founder & Chief Enjoyologist

Why a distillery on the Sunshine Coast?

The Sunshine Coast has been a big part of my life. I’ve spent a large amount of my life around the coast, driving up the motorway and looking at the cane fields. Cane sugar makes for some of the best rum in the world – we’ve got a few famous rums in Queensland, but they are not necessarily the rums we reach for ourselves. We have been more inspired by what came out of Barbados and the Caribbean – so for me, it was about making Queensland rum something that could easily stand out in the global market.

Matt Hobson – Founder & Chief Imagineer

What were you doing before you founded Nil Desperandum?

I was working in the Australian airline industry. Until embarking on the adventure that built the brands Sunshine & Sons and Nil Desperandum, I was travelling the world, purchasing and selling planes, and working with some wonderful people. And along the way, I fell in love with the branding process. This process was critical to the airlines I worked with, and I was already fantasising about the possibility to develop an incredible, consumer-level Sunshine Coast brand

Want to meet the team behind the brand?

Drop by our Distillery Door for a tour and tasting, and discover the craftsmanship that goes into creating each and every drop of The Coast Spirit – there’s even a chance you’ll get to talk to Adam, Michael or Matt themselves – then enjoy a bespoke cocktail or glass of Nil Desperandum, to wrap up your visit. Our Distillery Door is open every day from 10 am!

Join us in the Sunshine to get $10 off your first sip.*



* Excludes selected product lines - Noosa Festival of Surfing, Kherson Liberation Gin, Patron’s Peace Vodka, The Generals Gin, Greenslander Gin & Woodfordia Dry Gin