In May 2022 Four Pillars opened the expansion to its Healesville Distillery, dubbed Healesville 2.0. Rather than simply add more space for visitors though, the team at Four Pillars (and both Breathe Architecture and Never Stop Group) really said 'go big or go home' and home was simply not an option.
Connected to the original building is now an additional 1000-square-metre edifice, which certainly looks the part. It's very monochrome with polished copper, brown leather banquets, pale exposed bricks and pine-coloured tables. The whole place seems infused with a peachy blush light that is welcoming, warm and stylish. As you walk in you'll find yourself in the main bar (Beth's Bar) with oodles of seating, but around the corner through the large doors is Jude's Gin Garden – an idyllic indoor-outdoor space, planted with botanicals, that can be light-flooded and open to the elements in summer, and battened up and cosy in the winter.
Gin is rather obviously the star attraction, and you can order tasting paddles to work your way through the range (don't skip the new and utterly heavenly Fresh Yuzu Gin) as well as rotating gin cocktails. All this booze is obviously accompanied with some snacks, and if you're familiar with the Made From Gin range the brand has released – such as the orange marmalade from the spent oranges – you'll know what we mean when we say gin-inspired-dishes, accompanied by enough carbs to keep the gin flowing.
This new building has been designed not only as a gin bar and shop but as a means to transform Four Pillars into a sustainable distillery, earning them the title of Australia's first certified carbon-neutral gin distillery. Pretty impressive and aspirational, and it all comes down to the details. First up, you'll notice the copper pipes in Beth's Bar looking like a sleek and modern design feature but which transport the gin direct from the distillery, avoiding the bottling process. Tonic is also now on tap, all of which eliminates 29,000 kilos of glass from the venue. And those leather banquets – they're not leather at all but made from pintex which is essentially pineapple husk turned into material. In fact all the building supplies have their own eco-story.
Best yet for people like us (a tad obsessed with all things booze production) you can brazenly stare down at the new bottling line from windows in Beth's Bar and Jude's Gin Garden. If the idea of a bottling line bores you then you've definitely never seen one – all we'll say is it's rather mesmerising.
So that's plenty of extra space for people, and space freed up in the old building to house a sixth still, which will see production increase to a million bottles of gin a year. Good thing we've all universally agreed this is some high quality, tasty booze – now enjoyed in Healesville and as far away as both Hertfordshire and Houston, plus a few other H-named towns and cities along the way.
Sun to Thu 10.30am–5.30pm
Fri & Sat 10.30am–9pm