Great Ocean Road Gin
The beauty of most gins is that they often showcase botanicals unique to the region they’re made in. It was the coastal qualities of the Great Ocean Road that Ann Houlihan sought to bottle when she first made the sea change to Aireys Inlet in 2017. Since then, with Great Ocean Road Gin, her dream has become well and truly established.
Great Ocean Road Gin has a dedicated distillery, taproom and gin garden, where visitors can try all the house has to offer. Best in show could well be the small-batch Grapefruit-Cello number, with the addition of white grapefruit peel imparting a pleasant bitterness. The much boozier Split Point Navy Strength gin pays homage to the Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet (it also won gold at the 2019 Australian Gin Awards).
But if you’re after the flagship, grab a bottle of the Guvvos Contemporary. Not only is the first gin Houlihan distilled; it’s the one that speaks greatest to the coast. Named after a local surf beach, it comprises 24 botanicals including salt bush, pigface, kelp, and indigenous eucalyptus.
The Japanese-inspired gin garden out back holds the most seats, which is perfect when the weather is fine. If it’s not, you’ll want to book out the limited seating indoors. On top of gin, you can also takeaway 100ml bottled cocktails (there’s a dry martini, raspberry old fashioned, negroni and kaffir lime gimlet), plus tins of pre-mix gin and tonic.