Craig Johnson and Melinda Davies got hooked on single-malt whiskies in the early 2000s. They’d hunt down rare drams, buying and tasting ferociously. Things got more serious after Johnson spent some time learning the craft with distillers in Tasmania.

Whisky may have been the initial goal for Loch Brewery and Distillery, but to get there, you first need a beer base. So the couple started brewing beer and distilling whisky simultaneously, with the latter set aside to mature for a minimum of two years.

Beers follow old English brewing recipes, resulting in unfiltered farmhouse-style ales and standouts like the oatmeal stout, which moves away from expected dry-cocoa richness of a classic stout and veers towards something that’s lightly sweet and surprisingly easy to guzzle.

While the duo waited for the whisky to mature, they produced three grape-based gins. The first is a traditional London dry gin, which was selected for Noma Australia’s menu. The second, The Weaver, features five locally sourced, stone-ground native botanicals. And the third is a gin liqueur – an Australian first – which has lower alcohol content and a hint of sweetness. It’s best served over ice with a little lemon.

But the whiskies are finally ready, now. Just make sure you get in quick – whenever Johnson and Davies drop a new release, it sells out near-instantaneously.

Start your visit with a tasting paddle, before settling in for a couple of pints or gin cocktails.

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Updated: July 13th, 2023

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