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Friday 22 March 2019

Gin friends and lovers,

Today is a big day in the history of Four Pillars Gin.

Possibly not as big as when our Rare Dry Gin won its first Double Gold at the World Spirits Comp in San Francisco in 2014, or the day Cam said, “What do you reckon might happen if we mix gin with shiraz grapes?”, but a bloody big day nonetheless.

This morning it was announced that Lion, owner of many of Australia’s best beer brands, is entering into a partnership with Four Pillars Gin, buying 50% of our business and making a significant investment in the next phase of our gin journey.

Their desire to partner with Four Pillars is a terrific endorsement of our focus on making the world’s most delicious gins here in Australia, and having a heap of fun along the way.

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It’s a cracking opportunity for us as a business and, even more importantly, it’s cracking news for our incredibly loyal customers and staff. And why? Because, with the support of our new partners, we will now be able to do more of the things we love (with the freedom of not worrying quite so much about how we are going to pay for it)...

  • Like trialling even more small batch gin experiments of the kind that gave the world Bloody Shiraz Gin and Australian Christmas Gin.
  • Like exploring more ways we can push the boundaries of distilling gin and what we can make from our spent gin botanicals (beyond marmalade, cheese, chocolate and Gin Pigs).
  • Like inviting even more of the world’s great bartenders, chefs and creative folks to join us in our little gin shed in Healesville to explore the possibilities of modern Australian gin and to experience just how amazing Australia’s food, drink and creative scene really is.
  • Like building a brilliant new hospitality and production space right next to our current home in Healesville, and finding more ways to support things that matter to us, from Australia’s creative communities to all the various communities our craft depends on. 
  • Like employing more people to spread the gospel of Aussie gin across the globe, and making more of our great gins accessible to more gin-lovers from Ballarat to Belarus.
  • Oh, and we might even invest in a new website that doesn’t crash on Bloody Shiraz Gin launch day each year. That’s 1 June, since you asked.

The three of us (Stu, Cam and Matt) will be sticking around and will be running the place for as long as we are needed, and quite possibly a lot longer after that. We have a huge amount more we want to do here, and this partnership gives us the opportunity to realise a few dreams. We also started this business with a merry band of “ginvestors” – some are staff, all are mates – and they will continue with us having sold half their shareholding alongside us.

And Healesville will remain the heart and soul of our gin business and our brand, and our uncompromising commitment to our craft and to the batch distilling of every gin we make in the world’s best copper Carl stills will not change. Not a chance.

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So, we hope we will simply become better, stronger and smarter. Lion has a lot of great people across its business, and we plan to learn loads from them (and, who knows, they reckon they can learn a bit from us too).

We really think this will be a great partnership for both parties.

And one thing we know about you, our customers, is that if we don’t stay true to our word, our values, our beliefs and our gins, then you will let us know. And so you bloody should.

So what happens now? Well, we’re going to have a few good gin drinks tonight and then we will all be back on deck, working as hard as we can to make a craft Aussie gin brand the best in the world, from Monday.

As ever, thanks for your support. We hope you’ve enjoyed the ride and stick around a fair while longer, as the best might just be yet to come.

Stu, Cam and Matt

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