Business & invest,
The rise of distilleries on the Gold Coast
Craig Tansley | April 13, 2022
Gold Coasters were a little late to the distillery revolution, but they’re making up for lost time with more distilleries opening up on the Gold Coast every year.
We look at the best distilleries on the Gold Coast and discuss the industry’s growth with pioneer James Greig…
2/486 Scottsdale Dr, Varsity Lakes
Wildflower Gin is one of the Gold Coast’s largest gin and vodka producers – within a few months of opening operations, they were winning major awards for their signature gin, flavoured by owner James Greig’s own bees. Opening the week before Covid hit, they’ve managed to turn the company into a local success story, and have opened an intimate gin bar in Varsity Lakes. Founder James Greig tells us more…
Do you think distilleries are the next big trend for the Gold Coast market?
What we’ll see is more micro-distilleries opening up who sell through their cellar door. Selling gin through bottle shops is incredibly competitive these days. But there’ll definitely be more micro-distilleries opening up here.
How significant is the Gold Coast region in the Australian distillery scene?
We weren’t on the map with the likes of Hobart and Adelaide Hills, but it’s changing fast. That’s why we’re pro-progress when it comes to other distilleries opening up, we want people to come to the Gold Coast as a distillery destination and travel between the distilleries. They do it now with craft beer up here, it’ll happen.
What makes your gin and vodka stand out from the rest?
The main reason is the backstory: one of my hobbies was bee-keeping and I had a friend who knew about distilling. We combined honey from my backyard and made a great gin and that kick-started everything. The other reason is we launched the week before Covid hit. We ended up making hand sanitiser instead and the community was aware of us overnight. When we launched our gin we sold out straight away.
Do Gold Coasters appreciate fine gin and vodka?
I think so, Australian gin is still only 12% of the gin in Australia, but it’s changing fast. We pay a lot of excise so the big international companies can charge much less for their bottles and we can’t do that. But locals appreciate the quality of local gin.
1/28 Activity Crescent, Molendinar
For your chance to check out a bit of Poland on the Gold Coast, come cocktail tasting at the Coast’s newest dedicated vodka distillery at Molendinar. There’s a 1920’s style tasting room on-site to sample three types of locally-made vodka using traditional Polish methods that’s smoother and creamier than your average vodka.
21 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads
Located close to Burleigh Brewing and Wildflower Distilling in Burleigh Heads in a chic industrial bar setting, Capricorn Distilling Co is open every Friday to Sunday, with free tours (and free tastings). Check out the rum that won World’s Best Spiced Rum at the London World Rum Awards of 2020.
64 Railway St, Mudgeeraba
Since 1995, Woodchoppers Inn has been the place to go. Set in a classic Queenslander with 12 taps of craft beer in the heart of Mudgeeraba. Now they’ve added an in-house distillery called Against The Grain Distillery making their own gin, whiskey and vodka giving you even more reason to drop by for barbeque, beer and moonshine.
21 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads
Clovendoe Distilling Company have been trailblazers in distilling on the Gold Coast. They’re one of the first female-owned and operated distilling company in the world, and they’re also innovators for the low and no-alcohol movement. They specialise in alcohol-free distilling.
If you are interested in alcohol-free beer, check out local product Sobah.
The latest, greatest small batch distillery has just opened on the Gold Coast, made by three life-long local mates who got together to launch a product unique to the Gold Coast. While there’s no tasting room open yet, you can order a vodka from their Zodiac Vodka range, choosing a vodka that suits your star sign. Stay tuned for their single-malt whiskey, it’s fermenting right now.
45 Lemana Lane, Miami
It’s only a two minute walk from the beach – have a surf then check out the exposed brick and recycled timber in this former surfboard warehouse that’s now the coolest place to hang out in Miami. Brothers David and Luke Ridden use old family recipes to handcraft their spirits. Check out their cocktails, make your own gin or whiskey, or come tasting and touring.
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