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Gin drinks at Patient Wolf Distillery
Photograph: Supplied/Dean SchmidegPatient Wolf Distillery

Victoria's best independent distilleries

Sample the state's most-loved boutique spirits at these local venues

Written by
Eliza Campbell
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Whether you're partial to a barrel-aged whisky or a botanical gin, Victoria's plethora of boutique distilleries offer an artisan experience – and a chance to support some great independent producers. We've rounded up a list of some of the standouts, complete with tasting experiences, make-your-own options and masterclasses. 

A glass of red more your speed? Here are 26 of the best wine bars in Melbourne right now.

Sip your way around the state

  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Port Melbourne

Starward was founded in 2007, and it wasn't long before it was a bartender favourite all over Melbourne. Constant changes in temperature means whisky matures very quickly in Melbourne, taking on flavours from sherry or bourbon casks much faster than the same whisky would in a place with a more constant climate, like Scotland. The result is that Starward's whiskies are almost all under five years old, but they have the smooth, easy-drinking flavours of much more mature drinks. 

  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Dromana

An hour’s drive from Melbourne on the sunny Mornington Peninsula is Bass and Flinders, a gin distillery offering the chance for regular Joes to make their own gin. In a two-hour blending class, participants will be greeted with a cheese platter, gin and tonic, a tour of the facility and be given a working knowledge of the process of distillation. 

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Four Pillars Distillery
  • Bars
  • Healesville

Visit the home of Four Pillar Gins in Healesville, Yarra Valley and you'll be able to taste test a few tipples straight from the distillery, make your own Negronis and G&Ts at the in-house bar and snack on some local produce while you're at it. Before you head home, don't forget to grab a bottle of Four Pillars' finest for an impromptu bevvy at home.

  • Bars
  • Southbank

Patient Wolf's distillery seats 30 and serves an extensive menu of gin and tonics and classic, gin-based cocktails alongside an experimental cocktail menu designed to highlight the gins (including a vivid green snow pea cocktail). If you fall in love with one of the distillates, you can also purchase it at retail price to take home.

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Animus Distillery
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars

On the corner of Kyneton’s quaint main street you’ll find the Animus Distillery cellar door. With vaulted ceilings and comfy Chesterfield couches, the venue operates as an ambient cocktail bar every night of the week, serving up the brand’s vapour-pressed gin in tasting flights or mixed into an array of cocktails.

The Craft & Co
  • Restaurants
  • Collingwood

You can choose your own adventure at this multi-purpose venue in Collingwood that's equal parts restaurant, bar, delicatessen, bottle shop, cellar door and classroom. The venue's "craft" arm includes an onsite brewery, distillery and microdairy; a vineyard at the sister location in Bangholme produces boutique wines.

 

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Main Ridge

Tucked between wineries on the Mornington Peninsula, Red Hill Lavender Farm features a picturesque lake and orchard perfect for an afternoon stroll. Should you stop by, be sure to bring a picnic basket and enjoy your lunch amongst the fields, or stop by the farm’s restaurant for a bite. On your way out you can stop by the farm gate and spoil yourself with some fresh, local produce and lavender-scented products on offer.

  • Bars
  • Brunswick East

Brunswick Aces is the brainchild of a group of seven friends, who realised they wanted to be able to include everyone in events, even those who were off the sauce. The bar is attached to the Brunswick Aces distillery, which makes about 3,000 litres of juniper-forward non-alcoholic infusions a week. 

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne

Little Lon distils its product from scratch, making its gin on-site in a 200-litre copper column still. The gins themselves are a nod to the history of the building, with Little Miss Yoko (a lychee-infused gin, named after Yokohama), Ginger Mick (strong notes of ginger and citrus, particularly grapefruit) and Constable Proudfoot on the cards. 

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