Distilling Four Pillars
We established Four Pillars with a focus on gin. But great gin doesn’t just make itself. We recognised that our real focus would need to be on the craft of distilling.
If we could elevate this area of expertise in Australia, and bring a modern Australian sensibility to the process, then maybe we could make a gin worth shouting about.
Two years later we have five different gins, multiple gold medals at international spirits competitions and now a brand new distillery operation and tasting bar.
But the story starts back in 2013 we embarked on a tour of the US West Coast, from Portland down to San Francisco, identifying distilling techniques and equipment we admired. What stood out above all to us was that all the gins we loved on our trip were made in a Carl still.
18 months later, we took delivery of our own custom-built still from Carl of Germany, and we called her Wilma (after Cameron’s beautiful but explosively tempered late mother). And Wilma turned out to be amazing, drawing extraordinary botanical flavour from a combination of rare, native and traditional botanicals.
She delivers an unbelievable purity of spirit (the gin comes out of Wilma at 93.5% ABV) despite our unique approach of distilling our benchmark Rare Dry Gin with fresh, juicy biodynamic and highly-aromatic oranges. And she has now been joined by her larger sister Jude, and significantly smaller sister Eileen - both also made by Carl.
From Rare Dry Gin to Barrel Aged Gin to Navy Strength Gin to Orange Marmalade (made with the oranges that make the gin) everything we do is designed to elevate the craft of distilling in Australia.
We hope you agree we’re on the right path. The judges at a number of prestigious international competitions must think so, as we've been awarded a Double Gold, Gold or Master status for all our mainstay gins in the past two years.
Drinking Four Pillars
Chances are, your first Four Pillars experience will be with our Rare Dry Gin. It’s a dry gin alright, but not in a traditional London style. What does that mean?
In short, the juniper is still there as a canvas, but painted on that canvas is a gorgeous blend of modern Australian flavours, with the citrus of Southern Europe combining with the spice of South East Asia. All of which makes it an entirely too drinkable gin.
We reckon our Rare Dry Gin makes the best G&T in the world, and we encourage you to play with tonic waters, garnishes and ratios to find your perfect match. We’d always recommend starting with a ratio of two or three parts tonic to one part gin, garnished with orange or red grapefruit, and the coldest ice you can find (once you have your tonic ratio right you don’t want melty ice watering down your drink).
For your second Rare Dry Gin adventure, we’d always go for a Negroni… equal parts gin, Campari and sweet red vermouth, stirred gently over ice and garnished with a twist or slice of orange. For those who don’t like their drinks too bitter, swap the Campari for Aperol and you have yourself a Contessa.
You might be a purist of course and want to head straight for a Martini, or you might be playful and want to make it dirty, or try a Martinez, or sip a Tom Collins, or…
And we're super excited that now we have our own bar and distillery door, so you can taste and drink our full range of gins right where they are made, in the heart of the Yarra Valley.
Buying Four Pillars
Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin is available in great bars, great restaurants and great retailers around Australia and in a number of countries around the world (currently Denmark, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore).
Buying direct gives you access to distillery-only products like our award-winning marmalades and some great copper barware.
It also gets you onto Wilma’s list, meaning you will always hear about new products, offers and experiences before the rest of the world has a chance to get their hands on them.
Meeting Four Pillars
Four Pillars was established by Cameron, Matt and Stuart, and we sold our first batch of Rare Dry Gin through a crowdfunding campaign on Pozible in late 2013 to a very enthusiastic group of gin-lovers.
Since then we've tried to take every chance we can to meet Four Pillars Gin supporters, whether they've been with us from the beginning of the journey or met us more recently.
Four Pillars has recently completed a purpose-built, permanent home in Healesville, Yarra Valley in what was once a timber yard. We opened in November 2015 and we're so excited to be part of the new wave of producers in the Yarra.
As well as tastings and a gin bar, we've got regular masterclasses and some great events planned for 2016.
Four Pillars is also regularly out and about supporting modern Australian craft, creativity and storytelling, partnering with organisations like ACMI, Artbank, Griffin Theatre, REMIX, Spotify, I Scream Nails, The Chaser and Time Out to bring the gin to the party.