Brogan's Way Distillery
In 2018 Brogan’s Way joined a growing market of urban distilleries that includes Patient Wolf in Brunswick, and Coburg North’s Cedar Fox. It’s by father and daughter team Simon and Brogan Carr.
Simon is a former automotive production manager who quit his job to study at the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and open the distillery. Brogan, who has a laboratory science background, spent three years on a research mission, travelling to more than 30 distilleries worldwide.
The interior is replete with the obligatory creeping greenery and industrial shabby charm of an automotive warehouse turned 120-plus capacity bar. Copper distilling equipment looms; its metallic surfaces illuminated in shades of blue, green and orange. Natural Australian timber (wood spotted gum, messmate and stringybark) features in the bar, and in panelling on the walls.
There are three gins on offer: Everyday Salvation, Royal Blood and Evening Light, running from light and fruity to heavy and oily, with hints of Australian botanicals.
The cocktail menu was created in conjunction with Maidenii (and ex-Gin Palace) spirits guru Shaun Byrne, who prioritises the flavours of the gins and pairs them with mostly in-house mixers (tonics are by Capi or Strangelove).
The fruity Evening Light gin combines with Maidenii dry vermouth and a house-made raspberry shrub (concentrated syrup) for a vegan take on the Clover Club. The textural (and heady, at 57 per cent alcohol) Royal Blood gin is mixed with fig and cinnamon bitters and salted apple-honey syrup in a bold expansion of the Old Fashioned.
A circular pattern of drinks creation aims to limit waste. The desiccated, lemony byproduct of limoncello is served as tart, chewy garnish. Genuine distillation waste – such as spent botanicals with limited reusability – are sent to the compost at Collingwood Children’s Farm.
There’s also a selection of local brews from Mountain Goat and Moon Dog, and a tight list of wines from Tibooburra and Punt Road.
To eat, select from four cheese and charcuterie boards with bread from nearby Phillippa’s Bakery, each paired with a gin cocktail.