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Gold Coast distillery expands into spirited new space

If you haven’t taken the time to visit the stunning little mountain top village that is Mt Tamborine, you’ve been missing out. There’s a lot going on within the beautiful little hinterland town – events, new businesses, the general freshness of clean air. What’s not to love?

The latest happening, which we are obviously here today to discuss, is the upgrade of the Coast’s oldest distillery, Tamborine Mountain Distillery and why now is the perfect time to get yourself up there to sample a locally made liqueur or two.

Let’s start from the beginning though because the story of the distillery is an interesting one.

Tamborine Mountain Distillery was founded in 1993 by Michael and Alla Ward and is the third oldest distillery in Queensland. It was also the first allowed a Distillery License in over a hundred years by the State Government.

Originally the distillery was set up to utlitise the fruit and plants from the couples own orchard, but (happily) the business quickly became successful and outstripped its own orchard.

A quarter of a century later and with well over 300 international awards under their belts, the Wards had become the most awarded Australian Distillery and Liquor brand in the new millennium.

Now, the much-loved distillery has changed hands and in the last few weeks, moved into a custom-designed space created to match the businesses expansion.

It is the third oldest distillery in Australia and also boasts the biggest solar farm on Tamborine Mountain because, sustainability is important y’all.

The new space is a stunning one, set up inside one of the colonial-style homes dotted throughout the mountain. It boasts a tasting bar, shelves filled with liqeuers and spirits, for your take home pleasure and a museum detailing the distilleries’ history. It’s spacious, filled with colour and dotted with tiny touches paying homage to the unique quirkiness of the brands founders. We loved it.

Now let’s chat alcohol because obviously this is what we all came for. Tamborine Mountain Distillery were the first in Australia to distill Absinthe, so there’s that if you dare. Their Limonchello is famous the world over for its citrusy tang and there is an absolute slew of liqueurs including Choc Mint, Macadamia, Musk, Orange Agave and SO MANY MORE flavours available to purchase.

Not only those though, they also make Vodka (Native Peppermint please) and a variety of schnapps, so you really can load up on the goods for your next party.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to try before you buy, so pop into the tasting room and sample a few if you please. The team welcome small and large groups and there’s now a dedicated VIP bar for private tastings.

The crew are also happy to have a chat about the process of creating the goods and let us tell you, they are very passionate about their business. As they should be.

Get up to the mountain to check out the new space (and enjoy a tipple or two) for yourself. Tamborine Mountain Distillery is the type of place that makes us proud to be Gold Coasters.

LOCATION: 10 Macdonnell Road, Tamborine Mountain
HOURS: Open daily from 10am until 4pm

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk

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

Lemon Lovers Gelato and Cheese

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