In 1879, the Queenscliff Brewhouse (formerly the Palace Hotel and The Esplanade Hotel) was established, rum and whisky was offloaded from ships in barrels and stored in the dry cellar.
Now, the cellar has returned to its roots having been converted into the Queenscliff Distillery where the brewhouse team is producing gin, whisky and rums.
“It’s been put together over the last six months. We’ve been trialling and testingflavours with our distiller Tristan Bibby, and a custom made 600-litre handcrafted copper pot from country Victoria,” Queenscliff Brewhouse marketing manager Larelle Fitt said.
“We started testing our flavours on a small still and then when the main still came in October that’s when we did our
research. Tristan Bibby is the head chef in our Whisky Restaurant and distilling is a passion of his.
“This has given him the perfect avenue to distil gin, rum and whisky. The whisky takes three years, the rum is currently being aged in oak barrels, but our gin is ready and in use.”
Ms Fitt said they have a dry and native gin and have just finalised the recipe for their citrus gin which went in last Monday (January 7) and will be ready within the fortnight.
“Our range of gin is all infused with coastal botanicals to reflect our nautical and unique coastal location. We have a classic dry (42 per cent), a navy strength (57 per cent) and a unique citrus gin (42 per cent).
“We’ve got cocktails on the go upstairs in our Whisky Restaurant and bar. We’re also giving a complimentary cocktail mid-week with dinner at our upstairs restaurant using our dry gin.”
Ms Fitt said they have a pop-up gin bar in their cellar door which is doing gin tastings including their brand alongside three other popular gins.
“I’m a big gin drinker and it’s really delicious, it’s warm and peppery and goes really well with the Fever-Tree Elderflower tonic and a bit of orange peel,” she said.
“We’ve been doing over 20 tastings a day since the launch just before Christmas. We’ve also got our gin garden up and running.”
Head to 2 Gellibrand St, Queenscliff, phone 5258 1717 or visit queenscliffbrewhouse.com.au.