Gin aficionados, rejoice! A flurry of distilleries are shaking up Noosa’s food and wine scene, taking over the region, one tantalising spirit at a time.
From gin gardens and expansive copper-filled bars to intimate tasting rooms in industrial estates, there’s a distillery to suit every occasion.
If you’re dreaming of an afternoon spent sipping gin cocktails while nibbling on local produce, then it’s time to lock in a visit to three of Noosa’s best craft distilleries.
Steer away from the ocean, past rolling hills and giant trees and you’ll come across Pomona in the Noosa Hinterland, guarded by the towering Mount Cooroora. It’s a captivating entrance to a small country village, but not as captivating as the tipples surging out of a very special distillery in the heart of town.
Pomona Distilling Co. opened at the tail end of 2019 and has fast become one of the best distilleries in Queensland. Full of rustic charm and packed with friendly faces, the multi-functioning space sits on the old Pomona bakery site, showcasing some of the original brickwork from the late 1800s.
Enter through a door made with recycled railway sleepers and you’ll find a cosy bistro, a shipping container turned art space, charming wine cellar and the best part, a sprawling gin garden, complete with a fire pit in winter and a cooling mist when the sweltering summer hits.
While it would be easy to rate this distillery on its looks, the food and drink is where the magic really happens. Using an activated charcoal filtration system, Pomona Distilling Co. has created a range of artisan spirits that feature a blend of native botanicals and sustainable ingredients from their own farm.
Ease into your Pomona Distilling Co. experience with a lip-smacking Kin Kin Sour, before getting serious with a Gin Tasting Paddle. If hunger strikes while you’re whetting your thirst, a serving of melt-in-your-mouth duck leg bao buns or massaman beef spring rolls should do the trick.
Keep your eyes on this distillery, because there’s even more to come, with whispers of a range of delectable liqueurs in the works – think: native lemon, and a macadamia and honey blend made from locally-sourced macadamia nuts – plus, a bounty of fruit vodkas. To top it all off, a VIP transfer service will also be launching soon, chauffeuring distillery-goers within a 40km radius. Cheers to that!
Home to the most impressive copper still on the Sunshine Coast, Fortune, also known as Noosa Heads Distillery Co. can wave the flag as the first distillery in the region. Pumping out award-winning spirits since early 2019, this huge space opens onto Land & Sea Brewery – the distillery’s sister beer company.
Inside Fortune’s tasting room, you’ll find plenty of bar tables, the stunning 2000-litre reflux still and a copper-toned bar, where delectable cocktails, featuring housemade spirits, are shaken, stirred and served.
The current Fortune range includes a signature dry gin, a navy strength gin, a subtly sweet vodka made with Noosa water, a white malt, plus limited edition drops like a silky barrel aged gin that get snapped up fast. This adventurous distilling crew is also renowned for collaborating with local icons to come up with something a little different. Their joint venture with much-loved Noosa restaurant, Sum Yung Guys, ended in an Asian-inspired pho gin, featuring flavour hints of bean shoots, chilli, spring onion and Porcini mushrooms.
If cocktails aren’t your thing, don’t fret, G&Ts are where it’s at! With a selection of gins and up to 10 tonics to choose from, you won’t get bored during a Sunday session here. Stick around a little while and bite your way through the menu, starting with the bang bang chicken salad or the heartier Bratwurst hot dog with beer-pickled onion on a brioche bun.
For those wanting to find out more about the distilling process, Fortune offers a combined distillery and brewery tour each weekend. Over 90 jam-packed minutes, you’ll stimulate all the senses as you soak up knowledge from the friendly distillers and taste Fortune’s fine spirits.
Found a new love while you were visiting? You can have the tastes of Noosa shipped straight to your door, so jump online and place your order as soon as the withdrawals start to hit.
If you’re chasing an intimate distillery experience, pop the small but mighty 2020 Distillery to the top of your list for a classy, gin-infused afternoon. The latest to join the Noosa distillery scene, this sleek, industrial-style distillery can be found in Cooroy, just off the Bruce Highway.
Blending traditional methods with regional ingredients – like local fruits and the Cooroy Mountain Spring Water – this small-batch, family-owned business is producing a range of high-end spirits to satisfy any serious gin or whiskey connoisseur.
Pull up a stool in the tasting room and you can rub shoulders with the distillery equipment while making a dent in the comprehensive drinks list. Start with a gin flight, then, move on to the plethora of creative gin concoctions, based around 20 20’s East London Dry, Pink or Queen Garnet – with both of the latter seeing the dry gin infused with local coastal raspberries or queen garnets.
Dance between flavour-packed martinis and negronis or, order a twist on your usual gin and tonic; the more daring you are, the greater the reward. For those who favour the froth, you’ll find a range of craft beers on tap, as well as slurpable non-alcoholic sips for the selfless designated drivers.
Hunger pangs will be silenced with the short but sweet food menu, featuring a trio of dips, tasty cheese board and a charcuterie platter where local meats are the star.
With limited seats available and opening hours condensed into a weekend mode of Friday to Sunday, bookings are essential if you want to secure a table.
Got a four-legged pal waiting at home? Bring them along! Furry friends can sip in style too, with a state-of-the-art Distillery Dog Rehydration Station.
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