The beauty of most gins is that they often showcase botanicals unique to the region they’re made in. It was the flavours of the surf coast Ann Houlihan sought to bottle when she made the sea change to Aireys Inlet in 2017. And since then, her dream has well and truly come to fruition.

Great Ocean Road Gin has a dedicated distillery, taproom and kitchen where visitors can try all the house has to offer. There are various gins to try, ranging from small-batch releases to an award-winning naval strength style that’s both bold and boozy.

But if you’re after the flagship, go for the Guvvos Contemporary. Not only is it 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 on-site kitchen offers pan-Asian dishes for lunch and dinner, with a set menu option available to cater large groups and big appetites. Think duck san choy bao, Korean-style fried chicken, and sticky barbeque pork belly with apple and herb salad. For dessert, it might be Vietnamese coffee crème caramel.

The Asian influence extends to the Japanese-style garden out back, which holds the most seats and is the perfect place to sip on a fine day. If the weather’s grim, you’ll want to book out some of the limited indoor seating.

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Updated: April 5th, 2023

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