Not since the 1850s has Sydney been home to a distillery. This fact often dumfounded Will Edwards, who dreamed of opening his own distillery for nearly a decade before he decided to put the wheels in motion. This dream is finally a reality; Edwards and his team have opened Archie Rose Distilling Co. in Rosebery.
Edwards has long had a passion for spirits, and experimented for a while with making what he describes as, “Pretty terrible spirit-based infusions.” In June 2013, after six months of spending weekends and evenings working on the project, Edwards took a sabbatical from his corporate job to visit the post-prohibition distilleries of Brooklyn, where he found some true dedication to the cause, something that was missing here.
Located behind Kitchen By Mike and Koskela, not only is Archie Rose an operating distillery and ageing facility, there is an adjoining bar. The fit-out is impressive; a large copper bar dominates and is surrounded by booths styled as whisky barrels. The drinks selection is sure to be impressive; as Edwards points out, “It’s not every day you have an entire distillery available when creating cocktails.” While the main purpose of the bar is to sample the Archie Rose range, there will be a rotating selection of local craft beers, and a select range of other boutique spirits. There is also a range of snacks and sharing boards.
Edwards has done a pretty good job of finding the right people to run the project with him. Leading the team is head distiller Joe Dinsmoor, who started working at famed Hobart distillery, Lark, when he was 16 years old. Also in the team is Dave Withers, whose name is synonymous with whisky about town, having been the spirits expert at The Oak Barrel for a number of years and the organiser of its regular whisky events. He’s also the ex-host of the whisky tastings held monthly at Clevelands’ Café & Salon in Redfern.
The initial range will be a gin, vodka, and a white (or un-aged) rye whisky. Also being produced are a single-malt whisky and another rye whisky that will be matured onsite.
Archie Rose Distilling Co.
61 Mentmore Ave,
Daily from noon –10pm