If you’re a gin lover, you’ve no doubt made a trip to the Gold Coast to check out the coastal city’s spirit offering. Between Husk Distillers in Tumbulgum, Wildflower Gin in Varsity Lakes and Granddad Jack’s Craft Distillery in Miami, there’s plenty to sate your thirst down south in between beach hangs. Well now, you don’t have to travel quite so far to sample at least one of them, with the family-run Granddad Jack’s opening a distillery and bar right here in Brisbane.
Landing in Albion, right across from the new Craft’d Grounds development, the new bar and distillery has plenty of similarities to its older sibling, but also a few differences that make it uniquely Brisbane. While the Miami location takes inspiration from old barber shops, in a nod to the real Granddad Jack’s (father and grandfather to father and son owners David and Luke Ridden) lengthy career as a barber, the Brisbane spot is more in tune with a greenhouse—Grandad Jack’s favourite place for a chinwag. Other than that, the chic loft vibes with exposed brick walls, high ceilings, recycled wood, leather chesterfields and massive concrete slab bar are uber similar to the GC, so if you’re a Miami regular, you’ll feel right at home.
When you’re there, you will of course be drinking gin—though how you do so is up to you. Any Granddad Jack’s virgins may want to start with a gin tasting board, with 20ml of each of the distillery’s three main gins—the soft and gentle Greenhouse Gin, proper London dry Two Pencils Gin and the spicy 65 Miles Gin—paired with tonics and garnishes.
Once you’ve picked a favourite, you can move onto gin and tonics with your choice of gin, or, if you prefer to get adventurous, try one of the creative cocktails. Our choice would be the What A Star #2, with 65 Miles Gin, orgeat, lime juice, shiraz reduction syrup, egg whites and tobacco bitters, or the Buttered Up, a silky concoction of Albion Gin (more on that in a minute), orgeat, lemon ginger and mushroom butter, salted basil and pear syrup. Also on offer are barrel aged cocktails which will change regularly, mocktails and small-batch beers brewed right there in the distillery.
As a working distillery, the crew are already making gin onsite, and one gin you’ll only find at the Albion location (and yes, you can buy a bottle to take home) is their new Albion gin. Inspired by the local area’s historic past, it incorporates pink oyster mushrooms, basil, soy sauce, ginger, coriander, orris root and juniper to create a savoury gin that’s perfect for dry martinis. In the future, you’ll also be able to taste and buy small batch, seasonal gin creations, so keep an eye out for those.
If you’re wondering what to eat while you sip (an important question), you can nibble on whatever you feel like—the bar is BYO food. Assemble your own cheeseboard, order takeaway on UberEats, or grab something from the surrounding area—there’s plenty to choose from. The bar is also dog-friendly, so basically it’s everything we want in a suburban watering hole.
Granddad Jack’s Craft Distillery in Albion is open Thursday To Sunday for boozy sessions, and you can also book in for a tour and tasting on Saturdays and Sundays for $30pp. Find out everything you need to know here.
You should also check out Brisbane’s double decker gin bus.
Image credit: Ranyhyn Laine