A great place to enjoy gin

June 23, 2023 BY

Iain McLean (left) and Alex Stevens from Great Ocean Road Gin behind the bar in the distillery.

Gin is in, and Great Ocean Road Gin is welcoming the community to step inside its Distillery in Torquay.

Founded in 2018 in Aireys Inlet where it now has two venues, the business expanded into a third with a cellar door and bar in the West Coast Business Park in December last year.

As well as a retail shopfront, the Distillery, Cellar Door and Bar features a variety of tasting trays with the complete range of gins, mini negroni and mini martini tastings, along with signature cocktails and mixed drinks that prominently feature the company’s gin.

The selection also features local beers, wine, and soft drinks, as well as snacks.

Great Ocean Road Gin co-founder Ann Houlihan is very familiar with the Surf Coast, having spent many summers over the decades at her parents’ holiday house at Moggs Creek, and moved with her family from Melbourne to Anglesea in 2017 for a seachange.

The shift in environment also allowed her to pursue her passion for crafting premium gin, which she started developing with botanicals from the region in early 2018 and released onto the market in August of that year.

The distillery regularly hosts events, including live music every Saturday.


The range now includes seven gins: Guvvos Contemporary Dry Gin, S.East Meets S.West, Distillery Creek Gin, Split Point Navy Strength Gin, Raspberry Gin Liquer, Grapefruit-Cello Gin and a Barrel-Aged Gin, which was released on June 10 to mark World Gin Day.

Ann said the gin was initially produced in Melbourne and Geelong but was now solely being made at the Torquay distillery.

She said the idea was to present a unique proposition to aficionados of the spirit.

“Gin’s been having a moment for a while. Particularly over COVID, a lot of people were setting up and establishing themselves, a number of people were doing gypsy distilling through contracting… it’s a huge wave.

“Every time I go to a new gin show, there’s about another 10 companies I’ve never heard of coming onto the market.

“For us, it really is that sense of place in the bottle – it’s really about the provenance, it’s about the place that I love and wanted to capture in the bottle.

Guvvos is Great Ocean Gin’s first gin and contains 20 botanicals.


The first gin, Guvvos, has 20 botanicals in it, and nine of them are from the region.”

Ann said the distillery allowed fans of gin to “taste where it’s made”.

The space is about to launch a series of cocktail-making classes and already hosts Distill Chills, a weekend of free live music from local and emerging artists, each Saturday from 4-6pm.

There are also monthly events, including queer nights, karaoke, and singles nights, and the distillery can also be hired for private events.

“We’re all about being part of the West Coast Business Park community, working with the community and collaborating with other businesses,” Ann said.

The Great Ocean Road distillery is at 1/8 Sawmills Way, Torquay.

Opening hours are on Fridays from 5.30-8pm, and on Saturdays from 12.30-7pm. The shop is open from Monday to Friday from 12.30-5pm.

For more information, phone 5211 4466 or head to greatoceanroadgin.com.au

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