March 2, 2020 / By Rosie Stevens
When it comes to alcohol-centric trips away, wineries and pub crawls are no longer the 'be all and end all'. Distillery doors are the perfect weekender activity for liquor lovers, and luckily for you — Victoria serves up some awesome artisanal offerings.
Victorians have self-labelled their state the gin capital of Australia, and while it’s a strong call, we’re not going to quibble. Home to the 2019 International Gin Producer of the year, Victoria undoubtedly boasts a burgeoning craft gin scene that’s ripe for discovery. Here’s where to head for a sip (or ten).
Four Pillars Gin
You know that international champ we mentioned? Well, you’re lookin’ at it — in the shape of Four Pillars Gin in the Yarra Valley.
Taking out first place at the 50th Annual Wine and Spirits Competition in London, Four Pillars Gin is a small artisanal distillery that simultaneously exudes prestige, Aussie charm and an unwavering commitment to setting the benchmark in their distilling process both country-wide and internationally.
From Rare Dry Gin and Barrel Aged Gin to Navy Strength Gin and Orange Marmalade (made with the oranges that make the gin) everything that Four Pillars do is designed to elevate the craft of distilling in Australia.
Once a timber yard, the vibe at Four Pillars is everything you’d want in a relaxed yet effortlessly cool setting—making it the perfect beGINning on a whistle-stop tour of the state’s finest distilleries.
Where: 2a Lilydale Road, Healesville
Bass & Flinders Distillery
A gem of a distillery in a gem of a region, Bass & Flinders in Dromana on the Mornington Peninsula is a trailblazing distillery surrounded by vineyards – inspiring the founders to stay true to the region through the use of local produce wherever possible, and the distillation of grapes to produce their spirits; including gins, brandies and liqueurs.
No visit to the distillery would be complete without taking one of their iconic and pioneering Gin Masterclasses, where visitors can create their own signature gin blend. Any visit to Bass & Flinders promises a unique experience—“a journey from vine to bottle” and a true insight into the creation of the spirits. This distillery door is truly one not to be missed!
Where: 40 Collins Road, Dromana
With a focus on premium gin and whisky, Kilderkin Distillery offers drinks that are clean, smooth and effortlessly memorable. Situated in the historical city of Ballarat just over 100km away from Melbourne, Kilderkin dates back to the 1930s and is a a must-visit on any distillery drive through the state.
For us, it’s hard to move past the Original Larrikin Gin, an Australian drop with highlights of lemon myrtle, hints of spice and warmth from native botanicals. Bottoms up!
Where: 11A Michaels Drive, Alfredton Ballarat
Creating premium small batch, handcrafted Australia gin, Animus is an icon of Victorian distilling that has quickly grown from a Fitzroy garage to a large, rural property in Kyneton, Central Victoria—just an hour north of Melbourne.
All of the Animus gins are available for tasting through their cellar door, along with G&Ts and a diverse range of unique gin cocktails. For us, the hero of the menu is the Animus Macedon Dry Gin and StrangeLove No. 8 tonic, garnished with a slice of lemon and a sprig of rosemary. Drool!
Where: 1/89a Piper St, Kyneton
Reed and Co
Bright by location, Bright by nature, Reed and Co Distillery is the home of Remedy Gin and boasts a coveted chilled-out, neighbourhood vibe.
The on-site bar and restaurant are bursting with flagship Remedy Gin cocktails, alongside other craft distillery offerings, beers and wine. The food menu is designed to enhance the gin and brims with seasonal, local ingredients that truly hero the region.
We’d recommend the Venison Tataki with pickles and ponzu dressing, or the River Trout served with soft herbs and creme fraiche. The perfect accompaniment to a stunning gin cocktail!
Where: 15 Wills Street, Bright
Another in the Yarra Valley’s star-studded cast, Alchemy is a converted 120-year-old wood fired bakery turned into a working distillery which boasts an onsite cocktail bar, guided tastings and outdoor beer garden that’s begging for exploration.
The menu at Alchemy is second to none, and you can’t move past the classic Negroni made with their signature Camomile Gin. If you’re a gin lover looking to do your bit for the planet, 100% of profits from Alchemy’s Ocean Gin go towards supporting Sea Shepherd’s frontline marine conservation.
Where: 242 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville
Located in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, Little Lon brings ‘gintrification’ to the city through their small batch Melbourne gins that are an utter treat to taste.
Little Lon’s Gin Masterclasses are a must-do for any true gin lover, where you’ll learn about the distillation process and the history behind the brand, alongside trying 4 unique gins and a cocktail of your choice. Sign us up!
Where: 17 Casselden Place, Melbourne
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