It’s been a long time between drinks for Sydney-based distilleries – not since the 1850s has a fully-operational (and legal) setup been producing and distributing spirits here, but March of this year saw small-batch craft distillery Archie Rose Distilling Co take up residence in 500 square meters of warehouse space in Rosebery. It’s the complete grain-to-glass experience, with the space split between a working distillery and a slick bar and dining area.
This isn’t your typical inner-city bar, with nary a mismatched chair or reclaimed piece of timber to be found. Creator Will Edwards has curated an impressively luxe space with a large copper bar, oak seating, and steel finishes. Archie’s own wares are the stars of the extensive menu – a vodka, a gin, and a white rye spirit (with a whiskey on the way), which along with the supporting cast of Australian and international spirits, can be sampled either in tasting flights or in cocktails. There are wines and bottled craft beers aplenty too, and food is a neighbourhood affair with sharing boards and snacks run over from the nearby Black Star Pastry kitchen.
These guys live and breath distilling, and for $20 will take you on an extensive tour of the distillery and guide you through a tasting of the house spirits. The tour covers the Italian-made fermentation tanks (all named after famous rappers), the beautiful handmade Tasmanian copper stills, and the barrel aging process, with a few tastings along the way (watch out for the 70% alcohol “heart” of the spirit – it’ll getcha). Post-tour, you’re ushered to the bar’s mezzanine level for the tasting. I really enjoyed the vodka with its lovely farm-house freshness, and the heady smokiness of the white rye made it a very interesting drop, but the gin was my pick of the three – unsurprising if you’ve read this post or this post. It’s a London Dry-style gin and infused with Australian native botanicals like blood limes, pepper leaf and river mint.
Archie Rose Distilling Co is located on Dunning Avenue in Rosebery, and is open every day from 12pm to 10pm. Bookings for tours and tastings can be made via the website.
Image courtesy of Archie Rose.