The term “bathtub gin” comes from US prohibition, a time of low-quality, underhanded distilling and closed-door dealing. At Bathtub Gin Co, the name is nothing more than a wink to the past.

In 2019, retired doctor Wayne Bourke started learning to distil from Russ Watson of The Whiskery before opening Bathtub Gin’s production site in Brunswick. Today, he shares his love of gin and good drinks with the public from the old Stevedore’s Association building in Williamstown.

Among the ancient timbers of the bar (some taken from a long-demolished CBD pub) and gleaming copper stills, you’ll find a wide range of house-made gin. There might be the juniper-heavy, London Dry style of the Angry Duck, the dark red, cherry-infused Best Day Ever and the 60 per cent alcohol, barrel-aged Mighty Apollo.

You’ll also find plenty of non-gin spirits, which might include a pinot noir/chardonnay-based brandy, as well as liqueurs like limoncello and orangecello.

At Bathtub, all the gins are matched with Long Rays tonics but there’s a decent cocktail list, too. The Melbourne Negroni is Bathtub’s coffee gin, Campari, Lillet and sweet vermouth held under a cloche and infused with smoke. Beyond the spirits you’ll find beers by Bell’s Beach brewing.

Elsewhere, the food menu is typically simple and distillery-friendly. There are a few pizzas – which might be barbecue chicken, margherita and pepperoni – as well as charcuterie and dips from La’ Deli at the Vic Market.

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Updated: May 31st, 2023

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