At Four Pillars Gin Distillery, the four pillars of excellence are ingredients, stills, water and people. Matt Jones, Stuart Gregor and Cameron Mackenzie founded the award-winning and internationally acclaimed brand in 2013, with the goal of helping people drink better, not more. They wanted to elevate the craft of distilling gin and give it an Australian character free of kitsch.

They’ve achieved that and more with this Healesville distillery, which has been a hit ever since it opened to the public in 2015, drawing droves of gin lovers to the Yarra Valley. Today, it includes a distillery, cellar door, and an adjacent space with a very green gin garden, a dramatic copper bar, a glowing gin shop, multiple events spaces and more. The huge gin hub is capable of churning out more than a million bottles of gin a year (and earned the title of the first certified carbon-neutral gin distillery in Australia).

Your visit begins through the calming entrance courtyard, which is bisected by a Wonka-in-miniature moat of spent cooling liquid from the stills, which has a chai-like aroma. Turn right to find the original Wilma’s Stillhouse bar. Turn left and you’ll be in Beth’s Bar, named for one of the gin stills. The Breathe Architecture-designed space combines Australian hardwood, upcycled concrete and bricks, and burnished copper. It’s spacious with banquettes, bar seating and a huge porthole to the packaging line below.

On offer is the full gamut of Four Pillars gin (piped directly into the bar to reduce glass waste), gin-centric cocktails and Strangelove tonic on tap. Food-wise, expect a gin-focused menu. You might find duck-liver pate with Bloody Shiraz Gin jelly from City Larder or Olive Leaf Gin-cured salmon with local Bear Bagels. While the on-site Tuck Shop serves up smaller bites like cheesy jaffles, cheese plates and confit duck arancini.

Beyond Beth’s is Jude’s Gin Garden, a lush, industrial-look indoor-outdoor space surrounded by trees and botanical plants.

At the distillery’s cellar door, you’ll learn how to taste gin properly. Take a sip, hold it on your tongue for 15 seconds, and breathe out. For the first few seconds you’ll feel that regular alcoholic burn, but then the distinctly Australia flavours will appear. Lemon myrtle, Tasmanian pepperberry and juniper are just some of the ingredients you might recognise in the label’s gin varieties.

With room for 300 people across the gin utopia, there are also plenty of opportunities for bookable gin masterclasses and meet-the-maker sessions.

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Updated: July 13th, 2023

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