The transformation of Adelaide’s inner north-west continues with the launch of Long Story Short, a distillery door and cocktail bar opening in Brompton this week.
Hidden on an industrial backstreet, away from the crowds of Oddio and Plants 4 and 3 a few streets away, it’s the public face of Storytellers Distillery, which quietly launched during the nationwide shutdown last year.
The label’s first release was an Australian dry gin, made with botanicals such as muntries, strawberry gum and lemon rind and available at Hains & Co, Malt & Juniper and nearby Bowden Cellars in Plant 3.
Founder and head distiller Lachlan Gunner has been a bartender for eight years, moving to Sydney in 2017 before coming home to Adelaide in April 2020. (Before his return, he scored a spot in the national top 20 at Diageo's 2019 World Class cocktail competition.)
The Storytellers range also includes a “hyperseasonal” series – small-batch 350ml bottles released to subscribers monthly (there might only be 50 to 100 bottles at a time). “We look for fruit and veg in season and use it to create something fresh,” Gunner tells Broadsheet.
“Recently, we fermented blue gum Australian honey into mead then distilled it into a spirit with ginger and lemon botanicals. We then smoked the final spirit with hickory wood to create what we call 'Honey I Drunk the Kids', which was Hyperseasonal Release #_002.”
A third release – a gin made with white-sage-smoked-juniper – is out today. The limited-edition drinks are only available to subscribers, or over the bar at Long Story Short.
The striking new venue opens on Friday, with a four-metre-long concrete countertop that’ll seat 10 people, and behind it, a backbar of colourful bottles hanging from birchwood shelves.
They’ll be used to make a tight range of cocktails, including one made with Gunner’s debut Hyperseasonal offering – tequila, chilli, lime, cardamom, coconut and rose – and a house-made coconut raspberry soda. Another features rose, black cardamom and gin. There’s also a Martini made with Storytellers’ dry gin, “textured by a fat wash of goat chevre before being diluted with a generous amount of dill, caperberry and hickory smoke,” says Gunner.
“Our focus from the start has always been packaging the best possible product for our customers, so when we decided to open a distillery bar, we ended up adding to our offering some things of such a high calibre, that we really couldn't call it just a distillery door anymore,” Gunner said in a press release.
Proof of concept: guests will be able to pair their drinks with bar snacks designed by celebrated chef Simon Bryant, whose catering company HQ, Dirty Depot, sits right next door. Expect mushroom and porcini pate with a port and juniper glaze, served with stoneground spelt lavosh; country-style chicken terrine in a vine-leaf wrap with sourdough, pickled onion and cucumber; Port Lincoln sardines with Coriole olive oil and lemon zest; and organic Hereford free-range potted beef with sourdough and Nice Pickles.
Long Story Short opens at 3/40 First Street, Brompton from 5pm Friday.