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Cheers, Granddad Jack’s swans into Brisbane

Let the good times be-gin!

Granddad Jacks exterior, Brisbane (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Granddad Jacks exterior, Brisbane (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

We know you’ll agree that back in 2018, when Granddad Jacks opened in the backstreets of Miami’s arts and industrial precinct, there was a collective swoon movement across our Coast. And since then, the distillery headed up by father and son duo, David and Luke Ridden has surfed a gin-infused movement that has seen Australia’s taste for boutique artisan-produced gin skyrocket.

If you’ve visited their craft distillery in Miami (if you haven’t, we strongly suggest you do STAT), you’ll be familiar with their modern yet vintage-styled venue and approach to producing craft spirits. Whereby they regularly host thirsty hordes and teach the fine art of distilling with intimate distillery tours. And you probably won’t find a better place to taste and learn as Granddad Jacks has been awarded multiple accolades, including a double gold medal from non-other than the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Awards.

So, in order to share the love, Granddad Jacks has only gone and opened themselves a brand spanking new venue in Brisbane, which promises the same world-class drinks experience but with a capital city feel.

Granddad Jacks bar, Brisbane (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Granddad Jacks bar, Brisbane (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

The new space can be found on the backstreets of down-to-earth and industrial Albion in Brisbane’s inner northeast and is focused on being a welcoming community-driven hub for locals and visitors alike to mingle and appreciate carefully curated craft spirits.

Upon entry, you’ll realise a lot of effort has been put into ensuring this venue mirrors the same laid-back and antiquated vibes of their Miami headquarters. Bare red bricks, leather Chester lounges, and a polished concrete floor help instil the essence of what Granddad Jacks is all about, and if you happen to forget for a second, you might just catch the eye of his hand-painted mural behind the bar — a man whose life was well-lived.

The focus has also been to create a space hinging its makeup on being eco-friendly and sustainably put together. Whilst the original distillery has its Barbershop within the distillery, the Albion venue features a Greenhouse area to the rear. A very poignant inclusion for the business as Grandad Jack himself was an avid gardener throughout his life — and we’ve heard whispers this space may increase in size… so watch this space.

The Albion Gin & Tonic, Granddad Jack's Brisbane (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
The Albion Gin & Tonic, Granddad Jack's Brisbane (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

From the Greenhouse, the guys are keen to grow as much as they can on-site by way of herbs and botanicals for the distilling process and to help make/garnish all of those delicious cocktails we know and love about Granddad Jacks. They’re utilising state-of-the-art aeroponic gardens, which use hydroponic technology to grow plants with the utmost sustainability: saving the planet one cocktail at a time. We are all about that!

To keep things interesting, the crew have gone about making and releasing an exclusive gin to their Brisbane venue. Inspired by Albion’s historical past and when Market Gardens populated the lower-lying marshlands, supplying the town with most of their fresh produce. The Albion Gin incorporates locally sourced Pink Oyster mushrooms, Basil, Soy sauce, Ginger, Coriander, Orris root and Juniper to create an artistically balanced savoury gin.

You can also expect to see monthly limited releases and a slew of unique cocktails which you will only find served here sorry Gold Coasters. Expect the Not So Tom Collins with Penny Vodka, butterfly pea syrup, lemon juice, blossom tonic and the Buttered Up with lashings of Albion Gin, orgeat, lemon ginger & mushroom butter, salted basil, and pear syrup.

If you fancy something a little different, the Albion site will also be brewing up a small amount of beer on-site as well — perfect if you feel like a palate cleanser before getting into the good stuff.

Barrel Room at Granddad Jacks Brisbane (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Barrel Room at Granddad Jacks Brisbane (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Open Thursday through to Sunday Granddad Jacks Brisbane welcome kidlets and dogs with open arms and encourage you to BYO food from several local businesses like nearby Fonzie Abbott, who put together some amazing burgers and pizzas.

It now looks like you have a viable reason to hotfoot it to the River City — so go on, we won’t tell anybody.

Hours: Thursday — Sunday, 3pm — 9.30pm
Where: 26 Collingwood Street, Albion, Brisbane

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Jess Hartley (L) of Granddad Jacks Brisbane (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Jess Hartley (L) of Granddad Jacks Brisbane (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Granddad Jacks Craft Distillery

Granddad Jacks Distillery

In what may just be the happiest news of 2018, a gin and whiskey distillery will roll open its doors in a few short weeks and we could not be more into it.

Granddad Jacks Distillery has been in the works for what feels like four years to those of us who love both gin and whiskey a little too much. In reality it’s only been four months but the wait is almost over.

On August 24th, the industrial-style Miami distillery will open for the good folks of the Gold Coast and, it’s certainly a cause to celebrate. Found on Lemana Lane, the distillery has taken up in what used to be a mechanics workshop and the transformation is pure magic.

Father/son team and owners Dave and Luke Ridden (along with the lovely Jess) scoured the Gold Coast in search of iron beams and the like to build a space that fits perfectly in Miami’s backstreets. Steel-inspired high tables with copper stools stretch down the centre of the room and two of the coolest leather couches we’ve ever seen make for a little chill spot at one end (if they go missing forget you read this). A day bed along one wall is lined with colourful cushions and underneath a mural proclaiming ‘too busy for bullshit, too tipsy to care’ and that, friends, is our new life motto.

Above the bar, an exposed brick wall boasts a painted portrait of the man himself, Granddad Jack, whose face peers out over the whole space, keeping an eye on you and your whiskey-fuelled shenanigans. There are wine barrels placed artfully about and the cruisiest of cruisers, decked out in Granddad Jack’s signage, is parked up the back. Oh and the main affair, a huge copper still sits at the back pumping out all the tasty booze. Love you.

So who is this Granddad Jack your new favourite watering hole is named after? Well, he’s a New Zealand born lad whose hard work and sharp mind allowed him to pay a huge family debt singlehandedly at the ripe old age of 14, that’s who. Luke, his great grandson, adopted the same hard working, ‘too busy for bullshit’ attitude and here we are, just a humble beachside city with our very own distillery. What a time.

Granddad Jack’s will sell only their own styles of both gin and whiskey and they’ll have a few varieties of each including what they call a ‘navy strength’ gin that’s 58%. Gimme.

There’ll be no food available on site but, hooray, you can BYO whatever you like so it’ll be a cheese platter and gin party for us thank you very much.

The epic space is also available for events including birthdays, engagement parties and wedding receptions and there was even a secret Sofar Sounds gig there recently. So much room for activities.

Okay we’re done and so very excited. Keep August 24th free, you won’t want to miss this one.

LOCATION: 43 Lemana Lane, Miami
HOURS: 10am until midnight Wednesday to Sunday

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Distil your very own bottle of gin at Granddad Jack’s

Granddad Jacks (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
Granddad Jack's (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

It seems quite likely that at some point in your life, you’ve considered making your own spirits. Same. But without a little expert knowledge, the right gear and a few spare hours, it’s probably always been a little too hard. Until now that is Gold Coasters.

The good folks at Granddad Jack’s Craft Distillery are offering you the opportunity to do exactly that, thanks to a distillery experience that is without a doubt, one of the best things you’ll ever do.

Particularly because at the end of the night, you get to take home a bottle of gin you whipped up with your very own hands, properly and under the supervision of people who know a thing or two about making an exceptional sip. It’s the first of its’ kind on the Gold Coast and led by the most experienced gin distillers our fair city has to offer.

Let’s start from the beginning though because the entire experience is a good time. Granddad Jack’s Craft Distillery has been creating their very own brand of exceptional gin for a few years now and in mid-2019, decided they’d share what they’ve learned with the people (us) and so making your own gin at their Miami space became a new thing.

The experience begins with a tour of the distillery (gin and tonic in hand) where you’ll learn about the man behind it all, Granddad Jack. What entrepreneurial ventures he tried to keep his family farm afloat, the process of building the industrial-style space with ALL recycled materials, how they’ve challenged craft culture and rules in Australian distilling (a thing or two passed down through generations), you’ll also see a few of Granddad Jack’s mementos and the stories behind his love of each.

Luke (Granddad Jack’s great-grandson) will take you through the distilling process and then you’ll take a seat to sample a few different types of gin, including some made right there at the distillery. After that, it’s time for a spot of science.

There are six spots at the bench, each set with a mini 2L copper still and all of the tools you’ll need to create your very own bottle of gin. You’ll be taken through the process and then you get to head over and choose the botanicals that will make up the taste of your gin.

Just a heads up, lemongrass, lemon rind and rosehip are a winning combination but feel free to disregard if you don’t like winning.

You’ll then go through the next critical steps in making the best gin ever, label and wax your bottle, eat some dinner (burgers and nachos, yes please) from Pretty Handsome down the road and then sample each other’s gins to crown the winner of the night.

The entire experience is absolutely value-packed, not only do you get so much knowledge from a team who knows exactly what’s up when it comes to creating epic gins, you also get plenty of drinks throughout the night, dinner, a bottle of gin to take home and maybe a new friend or three.

Not to mention the bragging rights when you get to tell everyone you made your own bottle of gin.

Tickets are $230 each and spots book out super quick so get on that ASAP. You can also purchase a gift voucher for the gin-lover in your life.

LOCATION: 43 Lemana Lane, Miami
WHEN: Wednesday’s at 6pm

Book online here.


Words and photos by Kirra Smith

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