The fine state of Queensland may have been traditionally known for Bundy Rum and XXXX Gold, but these days the Gold Coast has put the Sunshine state on the map for its craft beer culture and spirit distilleries. Spilling up to Mount Tamborine in the north, and over the border to the Northern Rivers and Byron Bay in the south, you’ll find booze infused with the finest and most unexpected local produce, processed and packaged with remarkable thought and care. Find time to venture to one of these local alcohol makers and your Gold Coast visit will be even merrier than expected.
GRANDDAD JACKS CRAFT DISTILLERY- Miami
Step into the toffee coloured building of Granddad Jack's and you’ll quickly appreciate the artesian skill that goes into craft spirits. Based on an old family recipe that was kept a secret for almost 90 years, the gin found in this Miami distillery keeps alive the heritage of a New Zealand gentleman called David Goulding aka ‘Granddad Jack'. In these award-winning gins, created by his great-grandson Luke Ridden, you can expect to find the flavours of cucumber, rosehip, lemon myrtle, grapefruit peel, juniper and citrus. Book in for a gin class, which will see you spend one on one time with the distiller, making your own botanical bottle of booze blend, or take a more casual visit on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays (from 3pm) to uncover this local gem and for an up close and personal distillery tour and tasting of their spirits and amazing cocktails.
Website: granddadjacks.com | Follow @granddadjacks
45 Lemana Lane, Miami QLD 4220
TAMBORINE MOUNTAIN DISTILLERY- Tamborine Mountain
There are few places left in the world as cute as the Tamborine Mountains, where charming shops and leafy streets compel locals and tourists alike to visit in droves. Though this region is best known for its collection of idyllic wineries, the Tamborine Mountain Distillery is one of the best reasons to pay ‘Tambo’ a visit. Specialising in boutique liqueurs, schnapps, vodkas, rums and beyond, this storybook setting will see you stumbling merrily out the door. Being open 7-days a week from 10am till 4pm, you can probably squeeze a visit into even the most hectic of schedules. Alternatively, you can grab their drops around the corner from Fins Cellar in Southport.
Website: tamborinemountaindistillery.com | Follow @tamborinemountaindistillery
10 MacDonnell Road, Tamborine Mountain QLD 4272
AND JUST ACROSS THE STATE LINE...
CAPE BYRON DISTILLERY- McLeods Shoot
Picture yourself sipping roasted macadamia and wattleseed liqueur amidst the dense Byron Hinterland jungle and you’ll start to get a sense of the experience waiting for you at the Cape Byron Distillery. Found sitting on a bio-diverse family farm with a passion for community outreach and sustainability, a distillery tour here will have you learning how native flavours of the Northern New South Wales region can transform into elegant gin. It kicks off with a Brookie’s gin garnished with native finger lime and aniseed myrtle before moving onto a guided tour of the rainforest. Here you can admire grain to glass whisky made with nutrient dense spring water, double distilled in a Scottish copper pot. If a trip to Bryon is out of the question, you can find the spirits of the Cape Byron Distillery being poured at numerous local haunts such as Social Eating House, The Loose Moose Taphouse or the Star Casino’s 19 Rooftop.
Website: capebyrondistillery.com | Follow @capebyrondistillery
80 St Helena Road, McLeods Shoot, NSW 2479
HUSK DISTILLERY- Tumbulgum
Husk Distillery has been going from strength to strength since opening in 2012, spiking unimaginably when their aesthetically fabulous Ink Gin was spotted in the hands of mega-star Margot Robbie in 2017. Found just over the New South Wales border in the country town of Tumbulgum, the paddock to bottle distillery crafts gin that alters in colour when poured into a glass; the unique reaction of pH balance alteration from their unexpected natural ingredients like butterfly pea flower. Visiting Husk Distillery will see you admiring a rare practise of sustainable distilling, with the rum’s sugar cane grown, cut, crushed and fermented on the farm itself. After a tour of the impressive setting you can sample cocktails from their seasonal menu, and dive into the Ploughman’s Platter grazing board that’s overflowing with local produce and designed for sharing.
Website: huskdistillers.com | Follow @huskdistillers
1152 Dulguigan Road, North Tumbulgum NSW 2490