Four Pillars has unveiled it new home in Healesville, Yarra Valley, which includes an expanded distillery, gin garden and hospitality experience.
The design of the new additional 1000sqm space, by Melbourne’s award-winning and sustainability-led Breathe Architecture, has nearly tripled the capacity for visitors at Four Pillars and includes an indoor/outdoor gin garden (Jude’s Gin Garden), multiple event and function areas, a copper bar, plus a dedicated Four Pillars Gin Shop featuring rare, limited release and Healesville-only gins and merchandise.
With support from the Victorian Government, the expanded distillery sees new blending and bottling line facilities, additional storage space, additional car parking and room for a new 2000L Carl still due to arrive later in 2022, taking the Four Pillars still inventory to six hand-made, German copper Carl stills.
The additional production and hospitality capacity means Four Pillars will be capable of producing more than one million bottles of gin a year and hosting somewhere between 150-200,000 visitors annually. To accommodate these increases, up to 30 more full-time local jobs will be created, taking the team to upwards of 150 employees.
The new Four Pillars Healesville 2.0 has an increased capacity of around 300 guests at a time with a range of table, bench, booth and bar-stool seating in Beth’s Bar and Jude’s Gin Garden.
Jude’s Gin Garden (above) has huge sliding, floor to ceiling windows allowing an al fresco vibe, overlooking beautiful mature trees when the fickle Healesville weather allows.
In addition to an ever-changing drinks menu of tasting paddles, classic gin drinks and original cocktails, there’s also a new substantial snack menu designed by Made From Gin Creative king, Matt Wilkinson and his Yarra Valley sidekick, Caro Gray.
The food is focused on local producers as well as the incorporation of Four Pillars’ spent gin botanicals. Expect Duck Liver Pate with Bloody Shiraz Gin Jelly, Bagels with Olive Leaf Gin-Cured Salmon and Gin-Laced Potato, Zucchini and Dill Croquettes. Fries with aioli and house-made tomato sauce will keep the kids happy in Jude’s Gin Garden.
Later in 2022, Healesville 2.0 will be also be opening up the Four Pillars Tuck Shop on weekends and public holidays, offering regularly changing, more substantial food specials and a few guest appearances from food friends.
And if you want to learn a bit more about gin, Healesville 2.0 will offer an expanded range of bookable experiences including signature gin masterclasses, maker sessions, and the famous G&T&T sessions in both Coral’s Loft and the new premises.
And all this will be done more sustainably with increased use of solar, less glass usage, more recycling and significantly lower carbon and environmental impact. Just this month, Four Pillars announced it was Australia’s first carbon neutral gin business.
The construction of the new distillery has used materials including recycled and upcycled concrete and bricks, pineapple ‘leather’ upholstery and even building ‘waste’ has been carefully used and given a second life. Furniture is all locally sourced, solar power panels clad the roof, and internal and external landscaping include plantings of local natives and
botanicals (many of which will be used in future gin distillations).
Gin will also be ‘piped’ directly into the main bar through featured copper pipes to reduce glass waste plus bottled tonic usage will be massively reduced, replaced in the most part by tonic in kegs. These two initiatives alone will see the site save 29 tonnes of glass per year.
The whole site, incorporating the old and new buildings is enclosed by a stunning copper ‘veil’ made from 1650m of raw copper tubing, giving Healesville a stunning new landmark as well as working as a natural heat exchange to reduce energy consumption.
Co-founder and distiller Cameron Mackenzie (above) said: “This has been a true labour of love for so many people and we should especially thank our architects Breathe, builders Neverstop, the local, state and federal governments who have all made a contribution not just to our building but to the whole road and surrounds, and most importantly to my wife Leah, Four Pillars’ Experience lead, who oversaw the whole two year project.
“This building will hopefully be one that the local community loves, that Victorians come visit regularly and that gin lovers from around the world feel drawn to when they visit one of the greatest cities in the world, Melbourne.”