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5 distilleries you must visit in the Ballarat region

Visit Ballarat

18 Feb 2023

Filed underFood & Drink

Ballarat’s long history of distilling – both illicit and licit – stretches back to the city’s gold rush era.

Sovereign Hill’s Sly Grog gin is a homage to the gutsy goldfields women who financially supported their families by selling illicit alcohol on the diggings.

In the 1860s, the city became home to Victoria’s first legal distillery, which produced gin and whisky until the mid-1930s.

After a long wait between drinks, Ballarat’s distilling scene reignited with the launch of Kilderkin Distillery in 2016.

Today, the region boasts five distilleries, including the newly-opened Itinerant Spirits and Grainery Lane.

Read on to start planning your distillery door adventures….

Itinerant Spirits

Itinerant Spirits

200 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat

What they make: Gin, vodka and whiskey using locally-grown grains, botanicals and natural volcanic spring water

Housed within the heritage-listed Ballarat Goods Shed, Itinerant Spirits is decked out with a 3000-litre vodka and whiskey-producing German Kothe still, a 650-litre gin still and a 24,000-litre on-grain brewhouse.

Top off the night with pizza, pasta, cheese and charcuterie boards or sharing plates from Nolans and Boom Time Dumplings under the same roof.

For an in-depth experience: Itinerant Spirits Explorer Masterclass

Grainery Lane

Grainery Lane

35 Armstrong Street North, Ballarat

What they make: Gin and vodka using local grains, herbs, berries and botanicals

Eight gins and two vodkas are made on site at new Ballarat cocktail bar Grainery Lane, with a 400-litre copper a feature of the Gatsby-style space.

Many of the sharing plates on the south-east Asian/Latin American menu are infused with Grainery Lane spirits – think gin-infused oysters and vodka beetroot.

For an in-depth experience: Grainery Lane host a regular Gin Tasting and Blending Masterclass as well as special events such as G&Tea Heritage Style and Blending and Tasting Heritage Style.

Kilderkin Distillery

Kilderkin Distillery

14A Hill Street, Mount Pleasant

What they make: Gin and liqueur

Kilderkin Distillery combines traditional distilling methods with contemporary approaches.

Its award-winning Larrikin Gin is produced by forcing distillation vapours through baskets containing a range of botanicals, resulting in a smooth, light and well-balanced spirit.

With a diverse range of blends available to sample at the distillery, you can also find Kilderkin’s custom blends around Ballarat, including a Sly Grog and gold-flecked Gilded Grog at nearby Sovereign Hill.

For an in-depth experience: Kilderkin run regular Distil Your Own Gin workshops, gourmet toastie pop ups by Masterchef alumni Time Bone and hands-on special events such as Cocktail Making and Gin-inspired Candle Making.

Red Duck Distillery

Red Duck Distillery

11A Michaels Drive, Alfredton

What they make: Gin and vodka

It’s a two-for-one deal at Ballarat’s Red Duck Distillery, which also has a craft brewery under the same roof.

This artisan spirits maker’s premium line-up includes Signature Dry Gin, Shiraz Gin, Secret Hop Garden Gin, Queen of the Desert Gin, Wonderland Gin, and Lilli Pilli and Finger Lime Vodka.

You can also meet the Red Duck team and taste their range of beers and gins at the Ballarat Farmers’ Market on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month at Lake Wendouree.

Mrs Baker’s Still House

Mrs Baker’s Still House

What they make: Gin and liqueur

606 Elmhurst-Glenpatrick Road, Elmhurst

Tucked away in a tiny Pyrenees hamlet is the female-led microdistillery Mrs Baker’s Still House.

Many of the botanicals used in the gins and liqueur are grown in owner Jane Baker’s garden, with the base neutral spirit distilled from wine produced on the property and a 100% solar-powered distillation process.

For an in-depth experience: Mrs Baker’s host regular gin blending workshops and special events throughout the region including The Shared Table Heritage Tram Tipsy Tea Party, Botanical Watercolour Paint and Sip and the Gin Discovery Series at the Flywheel. They also make appearances at the Beaufort and Talbot Farmer’s Markets with seasonally curated selection of craft drinks.

Main image: Itinerant Spirits

Across Victoria’s Midwest, we acknowledge that we travel across the ancient landscapes of many First Peoples communities.

These lands have been nurtured and cared for over tens of thousands of years and we respect the work of Traditional Custodians for their ongoing care and protection.

We recognise the past injustices against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in this country. As our knowledge grows, we hope that we can learn from their resilience and creativity that has guided them for over 60,000 years.

As we invite people to visit and explore Victoria’s Midwest, we ask that alongside us, you also grow to respect the stories, living culture and connection to Country of the Ancestors and Elders of our First Peoples.