Country of origin: Australia
Four Pillars Gin makes gin, in a modern Australian way. Their core purpose is to elevate the craft of distilling and gin in Australia.
They are also endlessly excited about the possibilities of a perfectly made cocktail, so they also do all they can to support and promote the noble craft of the bartender too.
For Four Pillars, Aussie gin is awesome because it’s the best of the New World with a hat tip to the old. They believe that Australian gin is like their food; it’s not deliberately wacky or obtuse – it just combines the best ingredients, know-how and traditions to make something uniquely Australian.
Not a koala bear or kangaroo in sight.
Four Pillars want to spread the gospel about great Aussie craft spirits and the sheer versatility and genius of gin throughout the world. Whilst on that journey, they want to show off and celebrate a very contemporary face to their wonderful, diverse, creative and brilliant island continent.
It all began when Cameron Mackenzie and Stuart Gregor, both wine industry veterans, got talking about their next adventure. The original plan was to make tonic but that idea lasted about 72 hours – until they saw a giant alcohol machine and decided, ‘who wants to make a soft drink?’ Brand guru Matt Jones soon joined the team and Four Pillars was born.
In October 2015, the Four Pillars team, moved into their new home in the heart of the Yarra Valley, about an hour’s drive from Melbourne, the food and wine capital of Australia. The Four Pillars Distillery houses their original copper still Wilma (450L) and her two new siblings Jude and Eileen, also manufactured by Carl in Germany. Jude is a 600L still, while Eileen is a small experimental still giving them the capability to make batches of all sorts of crazy, ‘ginnovative’ things.
The distillery also houses a fully functioning tasting room, and a bar serving multiple versions of the three greatest gin cocktails known to man – the G&T, Martini and Negroni. There are also tours, occasional masterclasses, and all manner of fun.
Four Pillars source the best botanicals from home and abroad. They make and bottle every batch carefully and with love, and they are always tooling about trying to make different, idiosyncratic, delicious gin-based products. They waste nothing – the oranges are sent away to make marmalade and the spent botanicals are fed to their own “gin pigs”.
The botanicals are a pretty equal mix of local and exotic. The local botanicals include Tasmanian pepper berry and lemon myrtle, and the exotics include juniper of course, plus cardamom, star anise and coriander seeds. Perhaps the most interesting is their use of whole oranges. It’s quite unusual to use fresh stuff in gin but Australian citrus is highly aromatic, and supports the spicier botanicals.
Ultimately it’s about trying to deliver the best of both worlds – a perfect, classic gin and something that would fascinate and delight even the most hardened gin fanatic… something spicy with great citrus at the back.
They make five gins… so far.