Distillery tourism has been one of the biggest growth areas over the last few years, with producers across the globe investing millions in tasting rooms, on-site bars and distillery tours.
While the pandemic has put a crippling spanner in the segment’s growth, with many smaller craft distilleries unable to survive the shutdowns, larger operations are putting their money into further development, betting that in time, the industry will bounce back stronger than ever.
One such distillery is Australia’s Four Pillars. who will be commercing work next week on a $6 million, 12-month re-development of their home in the Yarra valley.
The new home for Four Pillars will be directly adjacent to its current home in Healesville and will incorporate new hospitality, production, bottling and a spectacular events space. All of this will be encased in a stunning new facade with the project being overseen by Australia’s most awarded sustainable design firm, Breathe Architecture.
The new development will blend seamlessly with the current distillery and hospitality offering, which is a re-purposed timber yard, and will increase visitor capacity to more than 200,000 visitors a year. In 2019, close to 100,00 people passed through its doors making Four Pillars one of the most popular destinations in the Yarra Valley.
The development, which was deferred from 2020 due to COVID-19, is a huge vote of confidence in the Yarra Valley as a destination as well as a firm commitment that Four Pillars will continue to call Healesville home for many years into the future.
The new building will incorporate hospitality for up to 250 guests, a new yet-to-be-named sixth German-designed Carl still, increased off-street parking, as well as retail, and a special sensory surprise that will need to be experienced to be believed.
The new development will employ countless local tradespeople over the forthcoming 12 months and once completed will create around 30 new jobs in addition to the 60 employees already working for Four Pillars in Healesville.
Four Pillars commitment to sustainability, alongside Breathe, will extend further maximising the use of solar energy and minimising waste, and there will be more details to share as the new site takes shape.
Four Pillars Co-founder Cameron Mackenzie, a Healesville local who lives 200m from the site, said the development is a huge vote of confidence in the local community.
“When we began making Four Pillars, the Yarra Valley was always intended to be our home and when we found our original site, we couldn’t believe our luck. When the opportunity came to buy the land next door, we simply had no choice but to roll the dice and back our Yarra Valley dream to the hilt.
“Since we have re-opened over summer the distillery has been busier than ever and too often, we have queues out the front and far too many people are turned away from sharing a drink with us. With this new home that shouldn’t, hopefully, be a problem any longer.”
The new development will place Four Pillars, the winner of International Gin Producer of the Year in 2019 and 2020, on the global distillery destination map, with a world-class, unique facility just an hour’s drive from Melbourne’s CBD.
The current Four Pillar distillery, including all hospitality, will not be impacted by the development, which is earmarked for completion in December 2021. The current distillery will operate as normally as possible throughout 2021.
Four Pillars respectfully acknowledge the traditional owners, the Wurundjeri people, as the custodians of the land on which we will build our new home. We pay respect to all Aboriginal community Elders, past and present, who have resided in the Yarra Valley and have been an integral part of the history of the region.
For more information on Four Pillars, go to fourpillarsgin.com