Vineyards have owned the whole 'cellar door' concept for a long time. But Hurdle Creek is doing the same thing for gin. It's a family-run distillery down a bumpy track in Milawa, and you can rock up and taste to your heart's content.
We'll just let that sink in for a moment.
Family is a big thing at Hurdle Creek. Wendy Williams and her partner Simon Brooke-Taylor started the business back in 2016. Wendy handles the product sampling and accounts, while Simon puts his PHD in bio-chem to good use, brewing some of the best gin in country Victoria. Wendy's son Alex has also come on board to help run the business.
The idea was born from wanting to start a home business (and the notion that having a shed full of Gin is always a good idea). Thus the conversion of an old shed into Hurdle Creek Still began.
This isn’t just any old small-batch gin—everything is done on-site, and they make absolutely everything themselves (and we mean everything). From the milling of the grain for the spirit to the hand labelling of each bottle, Simon, Wendy and Alex control every part of production. And you can taste the difference.
They're actually one of the few distilleries in Australia that distils the base spirit, rather than buying it in. They use grains like malt, barley and oats to produce the base distillate, and grow a lot of the botanicals right there on the farm. Expect tasting notes of: lime leaves, orange peel, pink peppercorns and hops. Mouth drooling yet?
You can head down and see how it’s all made, do some tasting, chat to Simon the distiller, and (the best bit) take some bottles home. There are a few different varieties to try, including aniseed gin, navy strength gin, cherry Gin…you get the picture. In fact the guys just launched a couple of new specialty bottles: a pastis and a dark cacao liqueur (if gin isn't your thing).
Gin lovers, you won't want to miss this place. It's a unique insight into how your G&T ends up sitting pretty in your glass (and also a bloody good excuse for a country Vic road trip). Make sure to ask them for one of their awesome gin cocktail recipes, or check them out here.
Image credit: Hurdle Creek Still