Kilderkin Distillery Continues Ballarat’s Distilling Legacy

Words by Amanda Kennedy
Images by Jay Dillon

With gins named Larrikin, Scoundrel, and Buccaneer, you just know Kilderkin Distillery don’t take themselves too seriously. The Ballarat based distillery was first established in 2016, with the release of their first gin a year later. Since then, they’ve been steadily growing the range which now includes eight gins and three liqueurs to tempt your tastebuds.

Partners Chris Pratt and Rebecca Mathews are proud to be another chapter in the long history of Ballarat distilling which wasn’t always the strictly legal kind. The first legal distillery in Victoria was located in Ballarat and produced both gin and whisky from the 1860s through to the 1930s.

It was in late 2020 that the pair decided to relocate Kilderkin Distillery to a more central Ballarat location, with more room for distilling as well as that all-important cellar door experience. Formerly a group training facility, the spacious building underwent major renovations including sandblasting walls and grinding concrete and yet somehow has managed to maintain that rustic warehouse vibe.

After settling in the most important equipment – their two stills – the pair are almost ready to throw open their doors after a long 15 months. Chris explains –

Once we finally open, people will be able to book tours either online or call up, and that will involve a tour of the production area, where the stills are with the full explanation of the whole process of making gin. Then after that, we’ll do a formal tasting talking them through different styles of gin, how we actually balance the flavours, and how they can enhance the gins with different selection of mixers, tonic, soda and garnish.

Apart from gin, the distillery will also serve quality Victorian craft beers and a tight selection of wines, as well as produce platters to keep you fed while hydrating. And, if like us, you’re wondering what a kilderkin is, it is a measurement of volume equalling 18 Imperial Gallons or about 82 litres, the perfect size barrel for maturing spirits.


WHAT: Kilderkin Distillery
WHERE: 14A Hill St, Mount Pleasant
WHEN: Wednesday – Friday: 11:00am – 4:00pm

We wish to acknowledge the Wadawurrung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

New Florescence gin – bloomin’ delicious

Words by Amanda Kennedy
Images Supplied

What does Melbourne taste like and is that even a wise question to ask? Well, Anther Distillery duo Dervilla McGowan and Sebastian Reaburn teamed up with Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria to answer such a question. And the answer they came up with is the newly-released Florescence gin.

With a combined more than 45 years in hospitality and multiple distilling awards behind them, Anther Distillery were just the people for the job. Based in the historical Federal Woolen Mills in Geelong, they produce a range of gin including the popular Geelong Dry gin, a seasonal Cherry gin & even a Chocolate gin with toasted cacao nibs (hello Negroni).

By now we pretty much all know that gin is all about botanicals. They are what make it so seductive and compelling. Without them, it’s just hooch. They also allow the spirit to speak of a particular place, utilising flowers, herbs, leaves, roots etc, in other words, botanicals.

Florescence gin is the love-child of Anther and Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (RBGV), and as such all botanicals were sourced directly from the RBGV Melbourne and Cranbourne sites. With a staggering 10, 000+ plant species to choose from, the question then becomes where does one begin?

Dervilla spent time with head botanist Neville Walsh walking through the gardens and herbarium, as well as examining historical botanical catalogues.

 We enjoyed walking around with the gardens experts to explore and discuss ingredients. Working with Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria meant that we had a whole library of potential ingredients at our fingertips and access to scientists and botanists with an educated hunch about what might work.

They settled on 21 ingredients in total, including some of the usual suspects such as orange and lemon peel, coriander seeds and juniper (without which the spirit is not gin). Other more unique inclusions are the leaves and berries from Tasmania xerophilia (Alpine Pepper) to give a little heat on the back palate, Kunzea parvifola (Violet Kunzea) and Baeckea gunniana – Alpine Baeckea

Proceeds from the sales support the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria’s landscapes, scientific and horticultural research and public programs. And as if you needed any further recommendation, Tim Entwisle, Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria says, ‘this is a real, one-of-a-kind beverage, the official taste of Melbourne, with the delicate notes and scents reminiscent of the Gardens. I have personally taste-tested and approved of this gin.’

Well, count us in.


WHAT: Florescence Gin
WHERE: Online store and other stockists
WHEN: Available now

We wish to acknowledge the Wadawurrung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.