The Gold Coast just keeps getting better and better and it’s all thanks to the passionate locals who want exactly that for our lovely little beachside city.
Some of the most passionate locals around are the Ridden family, owners of the Gold Coast’s first gin distillery, Granddad Jacks who are currently in the process of distilling their first batch of whiskey and have started brewing beer too. Busy bunch.
Their most recent offering to the lucky people of the Gold Coast though, is a Make your own Gin experience and let it be known, it is one experience you won’t soon forget. Only six people take part in each session and it’s $200 each.
Not only do you get to take home your very own bottle of gin, you will also have an absolute time making it exactly as Luke, Dave and the team at Granddad Jacks do. But in a miniature version you can take home.
From the beginning though, allow us to walk you through what will happen if you treat yourself to a spot at the bench.
If you aren’t aware, Granddad Jack is Dave’s Granddad, a man of many talents, after whom the distillery is named and for whom we are very grateful (because we got a sweet distillery due to his undying love of whiskey).
So the experience starts with a tour (and a gin and tonic), Dave takes you through, telling stories about Granddad Jacks entrepreneurial ventures trying to keep his family farm afloat and showing vintage images of the man himself with his beloved family. You’ll learn about the process of building the industrial-style space with ALL recycled materials, how the first batch of whiskey is coming along and you’ll see a few of Granddad Jack’s mementos and the stories behind his love of each one. It’s a beautiful story and one that will make you feel fully immersed in the families’ history. Which is, of course, the point.
Next up, Luke will show you the process of distilling spirits then he’ll get you to taste a few gins (straight up) to discern the differences in flavours and processes of production. Then it’s to the bench for science time.
You’ll be seated in front of your own still and Luke will talk you through the technicalities of what you’re about to do then you’ll pour ethanol into the still to begin the process. You then get to weigh out the botanicals you’ll use to flavour your gin and there are MANY options to choose from.
Just quietly, lemongrass, lemon rind and rosehip are a winning combination but you may choose your own adventure if you don’t like winning.
Several more critical steps then need to happen including adding the botanicals to the liquid, draining out the first part of liquid (the heads) getting to the hearts (actual term) which is the good stuff, measuring alcohol content, eating pizza (part of the workshop cost) and finally, bottling your precious gin baby, complete with the name you’ve chosen for your tipple.
There’s a couple more gin and tonics thrown into the mix and a tasting competition at the end of the night, and then you get to go on your merry way with your personalised bottle of gin under your arm.
Not only that, the winner of your night will be in the running to have a batch made and sold within the distillery.
To sum up; you get to enjoy one of the most fun nights ever with the Granddad Jacks crew, learn and practice the exact art of gin making and take home your very own concoction.
So great. Tickets to the first experience will be released this week so make sure you grab one.
LOCATION: 43 Lemana Lane, Miami
WHEN: One Thursday night per month from 6pm to 10pm
Words by Kirra Smith. Images by Desert Island Media.
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
How good is making new friends in a sweet, good time space while pretending to work but really just watching animal docos? So good, gang.
In an (un)surprising turn of events, you can now do all of those things at the Coast’s sweet new co-working and events space in the suburb that may just be our new fave – Miami.
The gist is this. Lemana Lane is a kind of urban, cool kids paradise that was once only home to mechanics and warehouses hording who knows what. Now though, it’s a place you definitely want to be, what with the recent opening of Hotel Miami and a coming soon gin distillery.
Hotel Miami’s creators realised the areas potential far before the rest of us, nabbed themselves a warehouse space and filled it with all kinds of goodies. There’s velvet couches, handmade desks (ask ‘em how that went down) perfect for Insta-snaps, a dartboard and best of all, a Yamaha parked right in front of a neon sign that reads “fuck yeah”.
Oh and there’s a photo studio too. See, good times.
The idea was to open a space that would allow co-owner Nick to escape from the confines of his bedroom and a cat whose actual name is Winston Smushface.
Jokes. It was so Nick, along with his fiancé Jessie (the boss) and mate Darran, could create a place to hang out with other creatives, “work” on their various other businesses and create a fun little Miami community. They adapted a community event they used to attend in Venice Beach where local businesses would come together and showcase their goods while also making rad new friends.
The point is, you can rent one of those handmade desks for a day or on a fulltime basis (recommended for bulk good times) and there are upstairs offices up for grabs too.
The photo studio can also be hired for any fun projects you’ve got going on and there’s super speedy Internet and everyone’s other favourite thing – air conditioning.
As of April 6th there’ll be an event on the first Friday of every month (dubbed First Friday to make writing about it easier) that’ll showcase local artists and finally bring Gold Coasters the live music we need and deserve.
Whether you’re in the market for a new workspace or not, get down there and check it out, the crew are keen to meet all the like-minded creatives they can muster.
And they’re not bad at hilarious banter either.
LOCATION: 1/49 Lemana Lane, Miami
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
Burleigh Heads has absolutely come alive in the last couple of years with epic eateries and beachside bars popping up all over the place.
The locals are loving it, everybody else is talking about it and we are 100% on board the Burleigh’s the best train.
If there was one thing missing in a suburb filled with good vibes and even better people though, it was an eatery centred around a sense of community and here we are discussing the team of locals who have now taken up that space.
Burleigh Co-op opened their doors today (Monday March 4th) and the sweet little venue already has a huge following, which doesn’t surprise anyone in the least.
The newbie is the work of a gang of folks whose names you no doubt know, including the Hotel Miami crew, the legends at Granddad Jacks, the guys at Lost Boys Barbers, food extraordinaires Fingers and Bones Catering and Elki Blue Jewellery.
They’ve taken over the spot where much-loved Burleigh Social once lived after quickly seeing the hole it’s absence left for the hungry locals.
The bones of the building remain the same but the fitout is all sparkly and new with a whitewashed slash industrial vibe perfectly at home amongst the potted greenery, tangled trellises and a little bench style situation covered in vines.
Inside, glossy white tiles line the back wall, which is where you’ll see the chefs working their magic and you may sit inside to watch them do just that or outside in the prettiest of courtyards.
It’s relaxing, easy on the eye and, well, perfectly Burleigh.
The menu is also one of the best around with plenty of breakfast slash lunch dishes you’ve never laid eyes (or tastebuds) on before.
The Zucchini Waffles are a taste sensation with a sunny side egg (best name for a food-related thing), mixed shoots, chilli sour cream and Parmesan snow (also epic). It’s a big old dish that’ll satisfy you for a very long while.
The Brick Lane Bombay is spice-fried potatoes, flashed spinach, fried egg, coriander, spring onion and lime. You want to eat it just after reading that don’t you. One of the best brunch dishes in the world. Big call, no lie.
There’s also an array of bowls filled with fresh, nourishing goodness and while we’ll certainly be sampling all of them, first up we’d recommend the Green Papaya Salad because fresh hot smoked tofu, rice noodles, loads of herbs, peanuts, crispy shallots and Chili and lime dressing. All of the flavours.
Oh let’s also discuss the Falafel Fritters with pickled red cabbage and caraway seeds, turmeric cauliflower hummus, barley tabouli and a seeded cracker. Yep.
Every dish deserves a mention but we can’t give away all their secrets.
The coffee is by local faves Social Espresso so you know a sweet, smooth brew is on the cards and all the produce on offer is local because showcasing our stunning city is what Burleigh Co-op is all about.
From the owners to the eats, everything about the place is part of the community, co-operative vibe Burleigh knows and loves.
So, after all that, obviously the only thing left to do is get down to Hibiscus Haven and get involved in the goodness.
Words and photos by Kirra Smith.
LOCATION: 2 Hibiscus Haven, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: 6am until 3pm daily