On June 12, the eve of World Gin Day, award-winning Victorian gin distillery Four Pillars will open its inner-city Sydney distillery, The Laboratory. It’s in the thick of things, in the Bussell Bros building at 410 Crown Street, Surry Hills.
The venue will include a cocktail bar called Eileen’s, a shop and “The Lab” – a space for tastings and masterclasses with a working still (also called Eileen, named after co-founder Matt Jones’s mother).
When you enter the space, the first thing you see is the ground-floor shop, which will be selling signature and limited-edition gins, alongside merch, books and the company’s Made From Gin marmalade and chocolate. You then take the stairs to The Lab, where you’ll see the 70-litre German-engineered Carl copper still, which we’re told will be used to make small batches of bespoke gin. Eileen used to be in Healesville, the distillery’s cellar door, and for the past three years was used to make Four Pillar’s pride and joy.
You’ll be able to grab a drink at The Lab bar, under sphere pendant lighting (a tribute to Four Pillars’ signature four-dot logo). It’ll be selling G&T paddles (three different gins, three garnishes and a bottle of Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic for mixer) alongside gin classics including regularly changing Martinis and of course, Negronis.
There’s a separate, discreet door for Eileen’s Bar on the corner of Fitzroy and Crown streets. The stairwell you ascend on arrival and the concrete bar are coloured “juniper blue”, with three bar stations and 20 stools so you can watch the drinks being crafted. There will also be tables and banquettes, and luckily, to offset all the drinks, a small selection of snacks.
Over the opening weekend, seven one-hour, 10-person masterclasses will be hosted by co-founder Stuart Gregor. You’ll get a G&T on arrival and a tour around the venue, and you’ll be tasting lots of gin. (Masterclasses are $75. Subscribe here to take part).
The Four Pillars Laboratory will open on Friday June 12. Find it at 410 Crown Street, Surry Hills.