Suffice to say, the current trend of craft spirits and the brilliant distilleries behind them has been a long time coming here in Australia. And for us Gold Coasters to then have these great venues on our doorsteps, willing us to come on over and taste the spoils of their hard work is truly something special. Couple this with the already efficacious craft brewery scene that the Coast has gotten a serious reputation for, and we are some pampered people when it comes to choosing what to pour in our glasses.
Let’s just spare a moment to thank our days we never had to live through the prohibition!
Slipping into the craft spirits scene is Capricorn Distilling Co. in Burleigh Heads. And by slipping, we mean these guys are already established as an internationally awarded distillery, didn’t you know!
Formerly located in Rockhampton, Warren Brewer was the masterminds behind well-liked Saleyards Distillery, which he then decided to bring to the pristine shores of the Gold Coast. Seeking to expand production and to embrace a new lifestyle change, the Gold Coast seemed like the perfect spot to do both!
Under the newer name of Capricorn Distilling Co., the brand is still producing rums, liqueurs and now gins, under the same tried and tested recipes from the last few years. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, right? You can’t blame them for doing so either; as mentioned, in 2020 their signature spiced rum won the award for the world’s best-spiced rum at London’s prestigious ‘World Rum Awards’ spirits competition. Quite the accolade, especially from our British cousins who know their way around a drink or ten.
The selection of rums is sizeable, with differing styles for every taste, and a couple of specialist batches on the horizon, such as pineapple and coffee-infused lines — sure to prove popular! As well as rums — for which they are quite the experts — the distillery is also making an oak barrel-aged gin with great depth of character and a signature summer gin infused with 19 different botanicals, including lemon myrtle, native Australian finger lime and ruby grapefruit. All accompanied by their tonic of choice, Long Rays from Brisbane, rounding out an authentic Queensland drinking experience if ever we saw one.
The industrial location of the distillery is not too far from other Gold Coast standouts, Burleigh Brewing and Wildflower Distilling, creating the perfect chance for you to hop, skip and jump between the three. Settle into Capricorn, though, and you’ll find a light-filled and relaxed bar setting with the kind of atmosphere to enjoy the afternoon drift itself by and watch the shadows eventually grow longer.
Having been open for just a little while, the venue is currently welcoming parties for free tours — yep, you read that correctly. With big plans to increase their offering and new lines in the pipeline, we firmly suggest you add Capricorn to your already long list of new and exciting things to do on the Gold Coast this Autumn/Winter. And be sure to take a bottle or two home with you!
Where: 21 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads
Hours: Fri – Sun: 10am – 5pm
Words by Alex Mitcheson.