As Four Pillars prepares to celebrate a decade of gin-making, accolades and honours have flowed for the distillery and its talented team.
Four Pillars was named Gin Producer of the Year at the 2023 International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) in London last week, while Master Distiller Cameron Mackenzie and Senior Distiller Sarah Prowse were inducted into London’s prestigious Gin Guild.
The Gin Guild is the world’s oldest community of gin-makers and leaders, established in London in 1638.
Mackenzie joined as a Warden Rectifier and Prowse as a Warden Nominated Rectifier. The duo joins a select few Australians including Caroline Ashford (The Gin Queen), Co-Founder of Bondi Gin and Gin Journey Leon Dalloway and James Young from Old Young’s, among a global membership of around 450.
Mackenzie said: “Backing up after the winning the Best International Gin Producer the night before was tough, but being inducted into the Guild was really special. I got to wear a formal kilt and hobnob with legends like Desmond Payne. If you have not experienced a City of London formal do, it’s an unforgettable experience.”
The Gin Guild Director General Pal Gleed said: “Cameron and the team at Four Pillars represent everything that the Gin Guild stands for and promotes: excellence in gin distillation. I’m delighted he and Sarah came to London to join the Guild as our first corporate members from Australia and look forward to seeing this number grow.”
Four Pillars named world’s best gin maker
Four Pillars’ win as Gin Producer of the Year is the first time any gin producer, let alone an Australian distillery, has won this award three times, with Four Pillars receiving the same accolade back-to-back in 2019 and 2020.
The IWSC is the world’s longest-running, largest and most prestigious spirits competition with more than 4000 entries from distilleries across the globe in 2023, and gin being the biggest category this year.
Co-Founder and Distiller Cameron Mackenzie was on hand to accept the award, which firmly cements the Australian gin community at the very pinnacle of gin worldwide. Australia’s Kangaroo Island Spirits and Sweden’s Herno Gin were the other two distilleries on the final shortlist.
“Back in 2013, we set out with the ambition to make world-class gin, so to win this award three times is simply mind-blowing. I kind of knew we had a chance when two of our gins scored 98 points [out of 100], but kept it on the lowdown until last week when I dusted off the kilt!,” Mackenzie said.
“It’s a massive thrill for our team back at home and for the Australian spirits industry overall, and even sweeter that Four Pillars celebrates 10 years of making gin this December.
“Cheers also goes to our friends at Kangaroo Island and Herno who have also been consistently shortlisted and awarded.
“I can’t wait to get home to share the spoils with all our mates in Healesville and frankly right across Australia all summer.”
At the same awards in 2022, Four Pillars was presented with the inaugural Green Spirit Initiative Award that recognises work and concerted efforts to improve environmental credentials.
In March 2022, Four Pillars became Australia’s first certified Carbon Neutral gin distilling business with both the new distillery itself and all the gins bottled on the premises certified Carbon Neutral by Climate Active. The Yarra-based distillery has been newly expanded and reimagined to minimise waste, save energy, and tread more lightly on the planet.
IWSC CEO Christelle Guibert said: “We are delighted to see Four Pillars take home our International Gin Producer Trophy for a third time. Our judges were greatly impressed by the sheer work the brand has taken on, as well as the medal-winning gins they are creating.
“The commitment to their sustainability efforts did not go unnoticed when they were awarded our inaugural Green Spirit Initiative Trophy last year, and this year was no different, our judges were unanimous in their vote for Four Pillars as the worthy winner of this year’s IWSC International Gin Producer Trophy. The brand’s success in the IWSC sees no sign of slowing down!”
View the full IWSC 2023 results here.