What gin lovers can expect at the sustainably-designed new tasting facility at Four Pillars in Victoria’s Yarra Valley.
In April, Australian craft gin company Four Pillars opened the doors to its extended Healesville ‘2.0’ distillery in the Yarra Valley, sprawling across an additional 1,000 square metres—triple the size of the former distillery.
The upgraded space allows for around 300 visitors at a time, with a range of seating available at Beth’s Bar and the new al fresco spot, Jude’s Gin Garden. Gin enthusiasts can sample tasting paddles of the distillery’s award-winning gins, crafted cocktails, and classic gin tipples.
A new food menu has been curated by Matt Wilkinson and Caro Gray, which showcases local producers and the botanicals used in Four Pillars gins. Visitors can sample bites such as duck liver pate with bloody shiraz gin jelly, bagels with olive leaf gin-cured salmon, and gin-laced potato, zucchini and dill croquettes.
There’s also a range of gin-themed experiences like signature masterclasses, and the popular G&T(&T)—involving a G&T in the private mezzanine bar followed by a tasting of five gins. Maker sessions see visitors getting hands-on in the distillation process, with the distilled gin bottle posted to them following the experience.
Melbourne’s award-winning firm Breathe Architecture led the design of the newly expanded space, which includes the indoor/outdoor gin garden, event spaces, and a dedicated boutique offering rare, limited releases including bottles exclusive to Healesville.
Contemporary interiors create a welcoming feel, with concrete, warm copper, and natural materials that hint at the surrounding landscape incorporated into the design.
A highlight is Jude’s Gin Garden, with floor-to-ceiling windows creating an airy, al fresco feel that extends into the leafy outdoors.
Four Pillars announced in April its status as Australia’s first carbon-neutral gin business, certified under Climate Active, with the extended distillery space integral to its sustainability ethos.
Recycled and up-cycled materials such as pineapple ‘leather’ upholstery have been integrated into the design. Furniture was sourced locally, and solar panels have been installed on the roof.
In the gardens, natives and botanicals were carefully used in the landscaping, many of which will be used in future distillations.
Copper has been used generously throughout, as seen in the feature bar and in the piping and tubing onsite. At the bar, a new initiative to have gin and tonic water on tap is expected to save around 29 tonnes of glass per year.
Co-founder and distiller, Cameron Mackenzie, said: “This building will hopefully be one that the local community loves, that Victorians come visit regularly and that gin lovers from around the world feel drawn to when they visit one of the greatest cities in the world, Melbourne.”