Whether you’re a connoisseur of gin or whisky, Australia is full of boutique distilleries that are getting it right. Here’s our round-up of the best craft distilleries in Perth to visit.
Perth and Fremantle
Whipper Snapper Distillery
Whipper Snapper’s superb American-style whiskies are soft, complex, almost creamy and just sweet enough on the back palate to ameliorate any harshness that may be lurking among the intense aromatics. The warehouse HQ in urban East Perth has a comfy bar out front and hosts hugely popular distillery tours.
139 Kensington Street, East Perth
Republic of Fremantle
Superb interiors at a 100-year-old building in Fremantle’s heritage West End, well-made artisan gins and vodka, and a sleek bar and food program that goes above and beyond – Republic of Fremantle has it all. Rub shoulders with the well-heeled, the young, the beautiful and Freo’s hippies, musicians and flaneurs. Cocktails here are among the best in the city.
3 Pakenham Street, Fremantle
Running With Thieves
Celebrated beer maker Running with Thieves has turned its hand to spirits, producing three gins and one vodka. The 002 Trial Batch Series London Dry Gin is an instant classic, with fragrant up-front juniper supported by bright citrus and a pink peppercorn finish. The big, lively restaurant serves up dude food such as ribs, beef brisket sliders and gin-cured salmon.
218 Marine Terrace, South Fremantle
O’Connor is a light-industrial area near Fremantle known for large sheds and small factories. Tucked among them is Wandering Distillery, an uber-cool craft-distilling business and cellar door that’s worth a trip for the Signature Gin with its juniper kick and citrus notes from lemon myrtle, coriander and orange peel.
Unit 4, 50 Ladner Street, O'Connor
Fremantle Spirit Company
A small urban distillery focused on gin, Fremantle Spirit Company is a newcomer to Western Australia’s spirits scene, with The Old Trout Fremantle Dry and Samphire Sunrise the first of its craft gin releases. For teetotallers, the O’Connor distillery and tasting rooms also do great coffee and bites.
6/125 Keegan Street, O'Connor
Sin Gin Distillery
Sin Gin is named for co-owner Kate Sinfield and with a name like that, why wouldn’t you make seven gins that represent the deadly sins? Much more than a fun moniker, Sin Gin is legit: producing a portfolio of detail-oriented gins, some crafted with native botanicals. Join the fun and take a gin class at its Swan Valley HQ.
Swan Settlers Market, 124 Lennard Street, Herne Hill
Old Young’s Distillery
From the inventive mind of owner and distiller James Young comes a portfolio of elegant yet powerful gins and a vodka. His GinGin Gin is much lauded and justifiably so: it’s one of the most refined, complex and elegant blends you’ll drink. The bar and tasting rooms at Old Young’s Distillery are cosy spaces for casual drinks and tastings.
10581 West Swan Road, Henley Brook
Swan Valley Gin Co.
Loraine Donlevy and Martin Buck’s gin journey began with a tasting in Spain more than a decade ago. Back home in 2018, they bought their first still and began turning Spanish wine grapes into highly drinkable gins. Try Swan Valley Gin Co.’s flagship Diablo Artisan Dry Gin at the couple’s busy, fun and generous tasting room.
1050 Great Northern Highway, Baskerville
Harris Organic Wines
Producing organic brandy, gin, moonshine and vodka, Harris is a one-stop spirits shop. Brandies are aged for a minimum of three years and exported around the world, while the specialist gins are produced in batches of just 33 bottles. Distiller Duncan Harris offers guided tours and tastings of the certified organic operation.
179 Memorial Avenue, Baskerville
Great Northern Distillery
The state’s most awarded rum distillery and home of the acclaimed Canefire Rum, Great Northern isn’t like most rum producers: the process begins with Australian cane sugar rather than molasses, which ensures a softer finish. Don’t skip its gins and vodka; both can be enjoyed in a cocktail at the alfresco tasting room.
496 Great Northern Highway, Middle Swan
The West Winds Gin
Named for the swords used by swashbucklers of old, the Sabre and Cutlass gins by The West Winds distillery, in the Margaret River region, have expanded into a broad portfolio of flavour-forward spirits topped by the navy-strength Broadside Gin. Loved by bartenders far and wide for clean flavour profiles and impeccable distillation, West Winds gins are the most awarded in Australia. Tastings are available at the Jindong HQ.
455 North Jindong Rd, North Jindong
Great Southern Distilling Co.
Home to the much-lauded Limeburners Whisky, Great Southern Distilling Co. is one of the world’s greats, having won more awards than you can poke a stick at. At $1200 for a bottle of its Single Malt Whisky Heavy Peat, this is a serious enterprise. Make the pilgrimage to this distillery, on the shores of Princess Royal Harbour in Albany, to enjoy tastings, tours and a small menu of casual dishes.
252 Frenchman Bay Road, Robinson.
Margaret River Distilling Co.
One of the three distilleries in the Great Southern Distillery Co.’s portfolio, the Margaret River outpost is set among tall timbers just a minute from the bustling main street. Home to the Giniversity range of eight gins, it also offers gin-making classes and has an on-site restaurant with a menu that’s one of the most accomplished of any distillery in the state. Great cocktail bar, too.
Maxwell Street (off Carters Road), Margaret River
The Grove Distillery
Rums, corn mash whisky, single malt whisky, gin, vodka, an internationally awarded absinthe and pre-mix cocktails – what can’t The Grove do? The Dark and Stormy is a not-to-be-missed treat for lovers of the traditional rum cocktail. Tastings at the café are popular as is the on-farm accommodation, which includes a honeymoon suite.
491 Metricup Rd, Wilyabrup
There are few places more wildly beautiful than the Kimberley region and Moontide Distillery has attempted to bottle the spirit of the place with “pure Kimberley monsoonal rainwater in every bottle”. Native botanicals also play a major role in the crisp, clean flavours of these gins, with Pride Tide and White Pearl its flagship drops. Enjoy a free guided tasting at the breezy cellar door in Broome.
17 Gwendoline Crossing, Bilingurr