Count on Aaron Trotman, the founder of NON, to pioneer the world’s first non-alcoholic cellar door experience in Melbourne.
If you told us five years ago that non-alcoholic beverages would be taking over our wine shelves, we wouldn’t have believed you. But here we are, rummaging through the bottles to find a booze-free sip that curbs the mid-week cravings. It’s not as grim as it sounds when you put NON into the equation…
NON hit the market in 2019 and has since redefined the quality of non-alcoholic beverages. The brand boasts 7 incredibly complex flavours ranging from Caramelised Pear & Kombu to Stewed Cherry & Coffee, with all bottles labelled 1 to 7 so you can see the evolution of flavours over time. These drinks are not just a substitute for alcohol, but a preferred drinking option to match with fine food. The future is now.
Aaron Trotman is the entrepreneur and mad scientist behind NON, but get to know him and you’ll realise he’s a down-to-earth guy who just wants to make his wildest dreams a reality. The idea sparked on a trip to Europe with his pregnant wife where they opted for a non-alcoholic beverage and food pairing. He realised there was nothing like this at home, and had to bring some of the finesse back to Australia.
NON HQ, the latest venture from Aaron and the team, invites the world to see how they create these beverages first-hand. This is the first non-alcoholic cellar door in the world and there’s no better place to take on the challenge than Melbourne. The tours allow you to meet the incredibly talented personalities behind the brand, from expert chefs to food scientists, bartenders, and winemakers.
Behind the scenes, you’ll see that NON is a true labour of love. In the kitchen, you’ll witness the deconstruction of real produce and different culinary techniques to create a delicious and complex drink without the booze. Australia is the preferred produce source but they will go international if it means finding top quality. Whether it’s raspberries from Tasmania or yuzu from Japan, only the best produce makes it into the bottles.
Each bottle is a meticulous balancing act, building on notes of fruit, tannin, salinity, and acidity to create a drink that gives you the satisfaction of wine on the palate. The masterclass is designed to help you differentiate between the characteristics of each ingredient so that when you go away and drink your next bottle of NON, you will be able to identify each flavour on the label and its purpose.
“At NONHQ, guests will not only have the unique opportunity to witness the inner workings of the brand and experience the art of non-alcoholic beverage making first-hand, but they will also see how we prioritize sustainability in everything we do. From composting and reusing our cleaning products to carbon-neutral shipping, it’s all part of our commitment to creating a better future for the planet and our community.” Nick Cozens – Kitchen Lead at NON.
NON beverages tick the box of flavour, and appearance with a tasteful and minimalistic approach to the bottle design. This makes it the perfect complement to your shelves or a statement to bring to any dinner party. NON is loved by world-famous chefs and is served at many restaurants across Melbourne include Society, Farmer’s Daughters, Supernormal, Maha and Cumulus.
The NON-HQ Tasting Tours are on the first Friday of every month between 9am – 4pm. There will be 8 tours each day and they go for a duration of 1 hour, where you’ll run through the HQ and undergo a beverage and food pairing experience for just $50pp. There are 10 spots available per session and there’s a group discount for bookings of 8+. Book your tour here.