There are roughly 300 distilleries across the country – and more than half of them producing gin. Western Australia has long been a trailblazer in the juniper spirit stakes, with gins from all across the state consistently hailed as some of the best in the world, and it continues to go from strength to strength. Whether you’re deep down on the southern coast, in the bushland of Margaret River, on Perth’s city streets or even as far north as Kununurra, there’s always an exciting experience awaiting gin enthusiasts. Here’s where to find them.

From humble beginnings, Australia’s small-batch spirit industry has grown into a billion-dollar enterprise.

Margaret River Distilling Co, Margaret River

Margaret River might be known worldwide as a premier wine destination, but vines aren’t the only thing burnishing the region’s reputation. More than just a distillery, Margaret River Distilling Co is home to the Giniversity campus – an immersive cellar door with a kitchen that incorporates local produce into its casual menu, as well as chalet accommodation nearby. Pop in for lunch and a tasting, or book a blending class to craft your own recipe using native botanicals. Heading further south? Blending classes are also on offer at Albany sibling Great Southern Distilling Co.

Esperance Distillery Co, Esperance

Esperance may be one of the most remote pockets of the state, but it’s also where you’ll find one of the newest, smallest distilleries in the country. Founded by father-son duo David Price and James McCarthy-Price in December of 2020, Esperance Distillery Co quickly made waves by capturing the gold for its very first release at the Perth Royal Distilled Spirits Awards. Swing by for a complimentary tour and samples of limited bottlings you won’t find anywhere else.

Couple enjoying a drink at Margaret River Distilling Company, Margaret River

Margaret River Distilling Co, Margaret River

Republic of Fremantle, Fremantle

The best way to understand the level of depth involved in gin-making at Republic of Fremantle is to give it a crack yourself. In addition to tours and tastings, the urban distillery and bar hosts Gin School, a 2.5-hour hands-on experience that details history, production technique and allows you to customise your own bottle – which, like all their spirits, starts with a Swan Valley verdelho base – to take home. Be sure to celebrate with a snack and a cocktail afterwards, too.

Distillery bar at Republic of Fremantle

Republic of Fremantle

Spirit of Little Things, Subiaco

What began as a side hustle for three mates in 2018 has evolved into a snazzy urban distillery in an unassuming warehouse. Private masterclasses are an intimate way to get to know the ins and outs of the operation, but the combination of leafy interiors, sharp cocktails and snacks that showcase excellent local produce (think La Delizia Latticini burrata and North Street Store sourdough) sets the stage for good times all weekend long.

Old Young’s Distillery, Henley Brook

It’s hard to keep track of all the awards James Young has collected worldwide since establishing Old Young’s in the vaunted Swan Valley wine region back in 2016. The two-time Champion Australian Distiller’s signature gins have become stylistic benchmarks, but those searching for something more experimental should consider joining Juniper Society – a gin subscription service that guarantees members a bottle of a brand-new, exclusive creation every month, inspired by everything from Christmas trees to VB.

Swan Valley Gin Co, Baskerville

Despite Swan Valley’s strong reputation as a wine region, Swan Valley Gin Co has designed its masterclasses with gin fanatics in mind. While you learn the art of distillation, you’ll begin with a G&T and select from a range of botanicals – many grown on-site – to feature in your very own spirit. As your handiwork vaporises, you’ll sit down to a gin-infused lunch before creating a bespoke label, bottling the finished product and sipping on another G&T of your own making.

The Packing Shed Distilling Co, Bickley

Perth Hills winery Lawnbrook Estate debuted its very first gin – a bright, zesty number made with estate-grown oranges – in July of 2021, and only weeks later took out a silver medal at the Perth Royal Distilled Spirits Awards, showing that the region had much more in its locker than outstanding wine. The ten-acre property is a splendid spot for a sunny picnic on the lawn, made even better by a signature Flights ’n’ Bites paddle, featuring three miniature gin cocktails and small, flavour-enhancing bites to go with them.

Moontide Distillery, Bilingurr

Kimberley monsoonal rainwater and locally sourced botanicals like Kakadu plum and white berry bush lend a distinctive sense of place to Moontide Distillery’s award-winning gins. The fact that it’s the only distillery and cellar door in Broome (and one of the most isolated on the planet) makes it well worth a visit, but so too does the offer of free guided tastings and tours. Make an afternoon of it over a few cocktails and WA cheeses with local pickles alongside.

Hoochery Distillery

Hoochery may be synonymous with rum, but the Kununurra distillery – deep in The Kimberley – finally released its first gin in May 2020. Named after nearby Lake Argyle, Argyle Pink is a rosy ode to East Kimberley, tinted with locally harvested bloodroot. Botanicals are regionally sourced, including native lemongrass, goowal, bush plums and boab leaves, with some grown on site, which is also home to WA’s oldest continuously operating legal pot still. The gin was so popular they followed it up with a second, called Out of the Ord with hints of melon, grapefruit and anise bringing a fresh, tropical scent. Roll up to the cellar door, or tour the distillery every day at 2pm.

The Hoochery Distillery, Kununurra

The Hoochery Distillery, Kununurra

Published January 2022