Four Pillars Wins International Gin Producer Of The Year

Australian distillery, Four Pillars has just been named as the International Gin Producer of the Year at the International Wine and Spirits Competition

By: Tiff Christie|November 29,2019

The easiest way to think of the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) that happens every year in London, is to liken it to the Oscars. And the easiest way to think of Australian distillery, Four Pillars, winning the International Gin Producer of the Year is to imagine they just won the best picture.

So, yes, it’s a very big deal or as Four Pillar’s co-founder Stuart Gregor said: “There are a lot of awards for spirits and drinks but this is the one you want to win.”

The IWSC is considered the most prestigious international competition for spirits with more than 3000 entries from all corners of the globe. This is the fiftieth year of the awards but only the third time the Gin Producer title has been awarded. Four Pillars is the first Australian winner.


Cameron Mackenzie, Matt Jones and Stewart Gregor

“There was a shortlist of four, so we were in with a 25% shot, including last year’s winner, which is the spectacular Kyoto Distillery,” Gregor explained. “So you never know until the moment, but we knew we were in with a reasonable shot.”

Established in 2013 by Gregor, Cameron Mackenzie and Matt Jones, Four Pillars has been at the forefront of gin’s recent boom in popularity, producing around 100,000 cases annually (equivalent to 600,000 bottles). When the brand began, there were fewer than 15 gin distilleries in Australia, now it is estimated that there are over 250.

Four Pillars makes a range of gins headlined by its original Rare Dry Gin, the unique Spiced Negroni Gin, the cult favourite Bloody Shiraz Gin, and the world’s most awarded Navy Strength Gin. They also produce a range of barrel-aged gins, including the much sought-after Australian Christmas Gin, and limited release collaborative gins made with distillers, bartenders and friends.

“it’s a great recognition for all of the people who’ve worked for us since the day we started,” continued Gregor. “And I guess it’s just some form of really positive affirmation for what we’re doing. It appears that what we’ve been striving to do, which is making the world’s best gins in the Yarra Valley, well … we might be on the way to doing it.”

Gregor also believes the award will give those of us that have been buying Four Pillars, the confidence to know that we have all been making the right decision. “I mean it gives consumers a bit of assuredness,” he added, “that maybe we know what we’re doing. But it’s great for any consumers, any bartenders, any retailers. I think it’s a confidence piece, if nothing else.”


So what does it take to become the International Gin Producer of the Year? Is the award based on the liquids that the brand produces, or the way the distillery is run, or a brands international reputation? Gregor wasn’t exactly sure.

“I thought there were other factors involved and I thought it was more about which producer has had the greatest impact of the year, but the way they presented it and what they said was that it was the best aggregate score of one distillery’s collection of gins in the show itself.

“So I’m a little confused on that as well. I thought it was a bit more than just who’s got the most points, but I suspect it might have ended up being that. We did win a couple of gold medals, and we did do very well with our gins, so maybe we just got the highest aggregate score across the international gins in the show.”

No matter how the award was decided, a victory of this magnitude certainly won’t do the brand any harm and Gregor hopes it will be a tide that raises all boats within the Australian gin industry. Gregor points out that Four Pillars themselves are in about 30 markets so far and hopes that this win will go a long way towards encouraging people to buy Aussie gin.

“It’s not that easy to sell the concept of Aussie gin to a lot of markets around the world, because they don’t really know that we even make gin,” he points out. “So it’s a relentless beat, if you like, selling Australian gin around the world. Lots of fun, but plenty of hard work too.”

For more information on Four Pillars go to

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