Yarra Valley’s gin heading to Sydney

Cameron Mackenzie, James Irvine, Stu Gregor and Matt Jones at Sydney''s Four Pillars location.

By Jed Lanyon

Healesville’s Four Pillars is heading to Sydney as the world class gin producer plans to open at a new location.

The new Four Pillars will incorporate a gin shop, a gin lab featuring a working experimental still named Eileen, after co-founder Matt Jones’ mother and a destination cocktail bar, Eileen’s Bar.

All three elements will open on June 12 in time for what has unofficially been dubbed as World Gin Weekend.

The gin shop on the ground floor will feature all the signature and limited-edition gins that have made Four Pillars one of Australia’s favourite gin producers.

Upstairs in the gin lab is the 70L German engineered Carl copper still, Eileen, ready to make small batches of bespoke gin in a subtly-lit room that will host bookable gin, distiller and cocktail masterclasses.

As is tradition in the Four Pillars world, Eileen is named after Matt Jones’ mother and was located at Four Pillars Distillery in Healesville for the past three years before making its journey to Sydney earlier in May.

The lab also features its own full bar sitting proudly beneath four stunning fiberglass sphere pendants, a tribute to the signature four dots of Four Pillars.

“At our Four Pillars Distillery home in Healesville, Cameron (Mackenzie) and his team make the best gin in the world,” Mr Jones said.

“When we thought about what we wanted to bring to Sydney, we were determined to take that same passion for making, creativity and experimentation and focus it on the delicious drinks you can make with our gins. And we wanted to serve it all up with our signature love of warm hospitality and beautiful design.

“The result is the Four Pillars Laboratory in Surry Hills, a delicious playground for Sydney’s gin lovers and a new bucket list destination for gin fanatics around the world.”

Four Pillars experience director Leah Mackenzie said the two-storey freestanding chocolate brick landmark site was appealing to Four Pillars. The building was constructed in 1939 for the Bussell Brothers tea company as Australia shook off the Great Depression.

“Essentially we are producers so we love an industrial vibe. So while our Distillery is in Healesville we wanted to still have that ‘maker’ feel here in Sydney. It’s being honest about who we are.

“We always want to bring people closer to what we do. In terms of the aesthetic, we looked to combine a bit of edge from Melbourne with the sophistication of Sydney, while allowing the base building to shine.”

Four Pillars was named International Gin Producer of the Year for 2019 at the prestigious International Wine and Spirits Competition in London.

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