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
MORE INFO: kilderkindistillery.com.au
We wish to acknowledge the Wadawurrung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.