Do you hear that? It’s the sound of the Northern burbs rejoicing because they FINALLY have their very own premium G.I.N distillery! When our northside staff got the memo, they assumed they’d nodded off and were dreaming about being as cool as their southside neighbours. They muttered a little prayer to the Grog Gods, pinched themselves, and then the realisation dawned – IT’S ACTUALLY REAL! Biggera Waters-based White Oat Distillery is officially open for business, so drop everything and text everyone (especially the peeps north of 4215) because this place is a winner ginner!
When you walk into the unassuming giant shed-like structure in the industrial area near Harbour Town, you’re in for a treat. Greeted by a sea of timber benches and high stools, a sandy-hued polished concrete floor, a swoony pink vee-jay counter wrapping around the entire space, and a sleek black brick-back taps area, White Oat Distillery is a sight for sore eyes. Festoon lights adorn the sky-high roof, but it has to be the super shiny distillery equipment that is the most awe-inspiring conversation starter. Not only does it look flash, but it pumps out sips that scream “let the fun be-gin”.
The White Oat concept blossomed in a humble GC backyard early on in the pandemic. Founding trio Andrew Langton, David Beaton and Ryan Goding were three mates sharing some tinnies when they hatched a master plan for gin greatness. Defined by classic tastes, quality ingredients and a modern twist, the blueprint unfolded. Their mission was to open a distillery where the focus wasn’t just on the flavour, but on the overall end-to-end experience and feels. They scoured the country for a top-notch distiller which is precisely what they unearthed in award-winner, Tudor Duxbury. He was warmly welcomed to the team when he started introducing fresh ideas like using oats to make gin to add a velvety mouthfeel. This sort of genius thinking suited the business ethos to a tee. Creating a holistic experience is what White Oat is all about, bringing dimension and experimentation to the gin-drinking movement.
White Oat produces two stellar varieties of gin; the White Oat London Dry and the White Oat Berry Pink Gin which can of course be purchased either on-site or online. And the good news is for southern Gold Coasters, they already have their gin available at Robina Pavilion, so if you can’t get north to their distillery, you can stay in your ‘hood and still try their delish drops.
But, we must say, it would be a shame to pass up the opp to visit their premise as the drinks menu there is top-to-toe ginny goodness and we don’t know where to look first. There’s gin served with tonic or soda, gin on tap, gin goblets (eeee) and gin cocktails. Oh and for those who don’t dig gin, firstly this is not normal and secondly, there’s beer.
Now let’s unpack their signature cocktail (our favourite part), the oh-so-fine New, Old Favourite and snap – that’s precisely what it is! With London Dry gin, ginger, lemon and mint, we could sink these all day long and intend to do just that. For the pink gin enthusiasts, give the More Tea Vicar a crack, with pink gin, camomile, grapefruit, ginger beer and thyme and line ‘em up already coz we’re hella thirsty over here!
With capacity for 100+ people, it’s the perfect space for a celebration or just to hang with your mates as you ponder your dreams, the universe and new possibilities….just as the gents did.
And the stellar news keeps on coming, because there will be various food trunks on rotation and on-site to line those bellies; and the grand plan is to bring something #extra to other classics (besides gin) in the future. Cheers to that!
So with its quality sips, ambience and gin-boss look and feel, this place is set to bring about a tecTONIC change to the north-side’s entertainment scene. And even if you’re down the other end of the Coast, the ‘wise but cool with a hint of old school’ White Oat Distillery definitely deserves a visit or at the very least a sneaky online shop of their gins.
Where: 13-14, 211 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters
When: Thursday & Friday 3pm – 9pm. Saturday & Sunday 12pm – 9pm
Words by Bianca Trathen.
As a bunch of discernible consumers of all alcoholic beverages, it was only a matter of time before the Gold Coast began to take heed and give us craft distilleries. Gin has, and still is, having a moment. Whisky has always grabbed a particular pocket of drinkers, and vodka is a staple that, although refreshing on its own, is an excellent base for many delicious cocktails we’ve come to love on the regular (espresso martini, anyone?).
Being one of Australia’s most innovative business start-up areas and having proximity to quality produce and botanicals from the South-East corner of Queensland and the Northern Rivers, our distilleries were always going to be a success no matter what shape or format they came in.
As there’s a sizeable collection for you to consider either buying from or visiting, we run down the distilleries we deem must-visits and precisely what they offer.
This multi-award-winning backstreet distillery has seen explosive success since opening its doors just three years ago. Aptly positioned in the now growing creative hub of Lemana Lane and surrounding streets, it’s a guaranteed good going-out spot. The portfolio of spirits is diverse, the atmosphere always on point, and the smiles forever beaming.
Offering: tasting room table bookings — distillery tour and tasting — private make your own gin class
Hours: Fri & Sat: 3pm – 9.30pm | Sun: 2pm – 6.15pm
Where: 45 Lemana Lane, Miami
Wildflower Gin Distilling
As if we need another motive to love the Burleigh Heads/Varisty Lakes area…. Wildflower Gin Distilling is just another reason we’ll add to an already long list. This industrial feel space creates what they describe to be, in their own words ‘Burleigh in a bottle’. Gins are the main attraction, but the team also turn their hands to vodka, with their recent Lamington Cake vodka a must-try for something sweet and traditionally Aussie!
Offering: group table bookings — 2hr gin masterclasses where you can create your own spirit!
Hours: Fri & Sat: 5pm – 9pm | Sun 2pm – 6pm
Where: 2/486 Scottsdale Drive, Varsity Lakes
Tamborine Mountain Distillery
A drive out of town to nearby Tamborine Mountain will reward you with one of the country’s most decorated and awarded distilleries. The range of spirits and liqueurs available here is enormous, equating to everyone who visits finding at least one (if not more) favourite tipples. The venue itself is an eclectic mix of old-world charm with a sprinkling of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory vibes, be sure to bring a crew and enjoy this space — and their tasty drops!
Offering: tasting room bookings — tailored events
Hours: 7 days 10am – 5pm
Where: 10 Macdonnell Road, Tamborine Mountain
Panezski Artisan Distillery
For a long time, vodka has had strong associations with our hardy northern hemisphere friends, the Russians. However, take a closer look at where some of the best vodkas are being produced, and you’ll notice such countries as the USA, France and Poland continually pop up — we may even see Australia soon in that mix. This family-owned distillery in Southport takes their Polish heritage seriously, dishing up some fine examples of vodka and gin with fantastic attention taken from the start, right through to bottling.
Offering: tasting room bookings — group events
Hours: Mon-Thurs: open from 4pm | Fri open from 2pm | Sat open from 10am, bookings highly recommended. Sunday (bookings only)
Where: 7 / 55 Bailey Crescent, Southport
Beenleigh Rum Distillery
With the title of being Australia’s oldest operating distillery, you’re not only tasting rum here but a slice of history. This quality artisan producer is a must-try for those who enjoy their rums, with a sizeable collection of products and an ever-growing line for you to appreciate — and keep on appreciating! Parts of the distillery known as the Big Red Shed have been part of the setup from day one back in 1884 and are mixed with a modern venue space for all to enjoy.
Offering: various tasting experiences — Master of Rum craft your own rum experience — venue hire/functions
Hours: Mon-Thurs: 10am — 5pm | Fri: 10am – 8pm | Sat & Sun: 10am – 4pm
Where: 142 Distillery Road, Eagleby
Ok, so we cheated on this one (not technically a Gold Coast distillery, but we love it so much). Pretty hues of pink and purple have made Husk’s Ink gin one of the most recognisable sips in the past few years. Often punctuated with a sprig of rosemary, you’ll find yourself in a little slice of Northern NSW heaven at their picturesque distillery in the removed countryside spot of Tumbulgum. Although across the border, pack the car with blankets and friends and make an afternoon of it. Read all about the foundation of Husk from Paul Messenger’s interview with us here.
Offering: monthly distillery dinners — table bookings —distillery tours — cocktail masterclasses
Hours: Weds-Fri: 11am – 5pm | Sat & Sun: 11am – 6pm
Where: 1152 Dulguigan Rd, North Tumbulgum NSW
Capricorn Distilling Co.
Introducing the newest kid on the block! This small-batch distillery has just opened in Burleigh and boasts premium spirits that promise to be ‘as real as it gets.’ Our northern friends may be familiar with Rockhamption’s Saleyards Distillery and now we are fortunate to have the same innovative team bringing their passion to the Goldy. You can expect Spiced Rum, Summer Gin and even Pineapple Rum (for those who love the fruit – even on their pizzas.) Worthy of a leisurely stroll in on the weekend we think!
Offering: distillery tours — distillery door
Hours: Fri-Sun: 10am — 5pm
Where: 21 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
Go big or go home is a thing people say and it’s certainly true of the lads at Black Hops who have, in the last few days, opened their second brewery and it is indeed big and also likely your new home.
Black Hops II can be found up north in Biggera Waters, not too far from Harbour Town Shopping Centre, so there’s two excellent reasons to drop in.
It’s a warehouse-style space that, interestingly, used to be a place where giant boats were built. Now though, it’s a sweet, extremely good-looking brewery and the boys really have outdone themselves.
As you’d expect, it’s a big, open space decked out in the boys signature dark hues. High wooden tables line the sidewall underneath another big thing – a stunning mural by another local lad slash legend, Kiel Tillman. It reads ‘Beer made by 3 mates on the Gold Coast’ and it’s a topographical map of the Gold Coast and you probably won’t stop staring at it the entire time you’re there.
On the opposite wall is the reason you came, the bar. Pendant lights hang from above the marble bar, greenery cascades from above the taps and you’ll find 13 beers and one cider on offer.
Around the corner, there’s merch for sale including take-home Growlers and Squealers (our favourite word) and, the hallway leading to the bathroom is a delight, lined with sweet, cartoon-style artwork.
The whole space just screams good vibes.
In case you’re wondering why Dan, Eddie and Govs undertook the mammoth task of opening a second brewery, the answer is simple; supply and demand. Since brewing began in 2015, Black Hops have been stocked in over 400 venues and retail outlets in (mostly) Queensland alone and the rest of Australia want in.
To help fund the new brewery, Black Hops undertook a record breaking equity crowdfunding campaign, raising $400,000 in just six days. Which obviously goes to show that the people want the beer.
The team are Australia’s first brewery to run a successful equity crowdfunding campaign and we are super proud of them (and y’all) and also stoked because we get an epic new brewery to frequent.
To celebrate the official opening, a few limited release beers will be pouring, including Danger Zone (an Imperial Red Ale), Thunder Cloud (a hazy Triple IPA) and Kiwi Lager (an Imperial Lager) so get ‘em while they’re frothy.
Oh and ps. try the Pink Mist, it’s what they call a Saison and (excuse the clumsy explanation) but it’s brewed in a similar way to how champagne is made and it’s got raspberries and it’s very delicious (and not overly beery if that’s your thing).
On Friday and Saturday nights there will be food trucks so you may make the most of a Saturday night on the beers.
Bye now, buying all the Squealers.
LOCATION: 14 / 665 Pine Ridge Road, Biggera Waters
HOURS: 12pm until 6pm Wednesday and Thursday and 12pm until 9pm Friday and Saturday
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
In one of the biggest glow ups of 2020, hand sanitizer has fast become a hot commodity with approximately zero bottles available in local supermarkets. You know where there are bottles available though? Distilleries. Who would’ve thought our beloved local distributors would come through for us even more than usual?
They have though, with several switching things up to create their very own brand of hand sanitizer to alleviate the stress of mass unavailability world (and indeed Gold Coast) wide.
A big pat on the back to these local brands who have come up with the goods in terms of keeping our hands fresh and clean.
Granddad Jack’s Craft Distillery
The gin and whisky distillery were already serving up the goods when it came to delicious alcoholic beverages and now they’re keeping us free of germs too. The team began creating their own liquid hand and surface sanitizer just this week and they sold out quick smart, such is the demand. They’re releasing the 1L goods online every day at 12pm, as they only have limited numbers, but you can also join the online waiting list. They’re making up to one litre of beautifully scented Lemon Myrtle, Grapefruit & Rose Hip bottles and you know you want that! Get in quick here. May as well add a bottle of delicious gin too…
Tamborine Mountain Distillery
The beloved distillers found up on Tamborine Mountain have also come to the rescue with their new liquid hand sanitizer, with scents of Tea Tree, Eucalyptus and Lavender Essential Oils and ranging from 100ml to 700ml bottles. The bottles are the same as those that their liqueuers are presented in so once you’ve used up all your sanitizer, you can keep the bottle for a lovely little house decoration. Pre-order is open now and you’re also able to pickup from the distillery. Grab yourself some here.
Down south a little further, Husk Distillery is doing their part to fill in the gap in the hand sanitizer market with their very own brand of the liquid gold in a lemon myrtle scent. Beautifully branded, the new product is available in a square gin bottle, also perfect for displays once you’re all done with it. The team at Husk have an online ordering system available for delivery and a drive thru pick up service too. You get 200ml for $10 and it’s a limit of three bottles per person for obvious reasons. Pick yours up here.
Wildflower Gin Distilling
A newbie that hasn’t even had the chance to release their new goodness to the public thanks to the virus which we shall not name, have instead launched with hand sanitizer and we are all very grateful for it. Wildflower Gin Distilling are adding their own Wildflower botanicals and the distillers own backyard honey to the mix, making it a little bit more magical than you might expect. Available from April 14th, you can support them here.
See, there is some good in the world.
Words by Kirra Smith