From a community-funded microdistillery to multi-million-dollar production sites, we look back at 10 of the best distillery openings of 2022.
Many producers prioritised sustainability in the build of their new distilleries last year, while others put visitor experiences at the forefront of their designs.
Keep reading to learn about the 10 openings that caught our attention in 2022.
“If a grown-up theme park and a bartender fell in love and produced offspring, it would be this gin factory,” said Ryan Reynolds about Aviation American Gin’s new distillery when he opened it last year.
Portland, Oregon, became the home of the Definitely, Maybe star’s gin brand in September. The 33,000-square-foot space comes complete with a distillery, tasting room, draft cocktail bar, gift shop and escape room. Yes, escape room.
The facility offers educational tours of the distillation process and bottling line, as well as tasting flights and seasonal draft cocktails.
Tours are held in groups of no more than 12 visitors, cost US$28 per person, and include a guided tasting.
In August, Halewood Artisanal Spirits-owned Berkshire Botanical opened a distillery on the UK county’s Yattendon Estate.
Located at Child’s Court Farm, The Yattendon Distillery boasts a new 200-litre copper pot still, which has allowed the brand to significantly increase its production capacity to make way for its growing product portfolio, which is composed of Berkshire Botanical Dry Gin, Rhubarb & Raspberry Gin, Honey & Orange Blossom Gin, Dandelion & Burdock and Sloe Gin.
The company continues to take inspiration from the flora and fauna of the local area, and sources local ingredients where possible. The botanical Norway Spruce, used in its acclaimed Dry Gin, is from the Yattendon Estate, which is famed for its Christmas Tree farm.
Owned by husband-and-wife duo Sam and Alex Berry, the Kingston-upon-Thames-based Bone Idyll Distillery is an immersive space that was funded by donations raised by the local community during lockdown.
It produces a range of small batch spirits, including the brand’s speciality gin, vodka and rum expressions, in its two 100-litre copper pot stills.
“All 50 investors live either in Surbiton, Kingston or Teddington, creating a 100% community-funded project,” said Sam. “They are also our brand ambassadors and part of the Bone Idyll family.”
The distillery also features a bar where guests can enjoy a range of craft cocktails produced on site, which are available to purchase as ready-to-drink bottles.
Australian producer Lark Distilling Co opened its new distillery in Tasmania, complete with immersive visitor experiences, in March.
Located in a building that dates back to the 1800s, the distillery and cooperage offers daily tours and a whisky experience that gives fans and novices the chance the create their own blended bottle of Tasmanian malt whisky.
Dan Knight, head of hospitality at Lark Distilling Co, said: “We’re very proud of this role Lark has played in shaping [the Tasmanian whisky] industry, and excited that Pontville will represent a new experience unlike any other in the Apple Isle.
“Whether you’re a seasoned expert or newly curious, this incredible space will be the perfect jumping-off point for your exploration into local whisky.”
Following a £600,000 (US$741,423) fit-out that began in October 2021, Edinburgh-based gin brand Lind & Lime opened the doors to its energy efficient distillery on the site of the former Sports Warehouse in Coburg Street, in the Port of Leith.
The industrial headquarters of the producer’s benchmark London dry gin has allowed the brand to expand its bottling capacity to upwards of one million bottles per annum, and offers tours and tasting experiences for up to 10,000 visitors a year.
“We’ve invested carefully to make this building as environmentally efficient as possible, and we will continue to power production with 100% green electricity,” said Ian Stirling, who co-founded Lind & Lime with Paddy Fletcher in 2014.
Lind & Lime Gin is produced with 100% organic ingredients and is packaged with 100% plastic-free materials.
Four Pillars opened the doors to Australia’s first carbon-neutral gin site in April. The distillery, which cost AU$7 million (US$4.92m) is located in the Yarra Valley, Victoria, and comprises: Jude’s Gin Garden; Beth’s bar, a crafted copper bar; events spaces; and a Four Pillars gin shop.
The distillery was built using upcycled and recycled materials, including pineapple ‘leather’ upholstery. Furniture was locally sourced, and solar power panels clad the roof.
Four Pillars secured the carbon-neutral certification from Climate Active, an Australian government initiative, and all Four Pillars gins bottled on the new site are now certified carbon neutral as a result.
As part of a collaboration with British cruise line P&O, Tidal Rum opened a distillery on board its new ship Arvia, which arrived in December 2022.
The onboard distillery is producing an island-inspired rum, and is located in the ship’s Anderson’s Bar. The rum is produced in a 50-litre still called Aurelia, and guests are able to watch the entire distilling process through the ceiling-to-floor windows.
The rum, known as Golden Tide, is then sold neat and in cocktails across all the bars on Arvia, with bottles available to buy in the ship’s shops.
“Whether you’re taking your first sip while enjoying a stunning island horizon or a beautifully crafted cocktail in Anderson’s Bar, Golden Tide Rum has all the ingredients of an unforgettable P&O Cruises holiday,” said Tidal Rum co-founder Harry Coulthard.
September saw the completion of what is believed to be Scotland’s ‘first’ working alcohol-free distillery.
Alcohol-free ‘spirit’ producer Feragaia opened the facility in Glenrothes, Fife, to enable the brand to increase production, which previously took place at a private distillery in the south of Scotland.
Having recently achieved B Corp status, the distillery follows stringent environmental policies, including measuring the chemical and waste-free manufacturing process to create as circular a business as possible. The brand also aims to support the surrounding area by sourcing local ingredients, with an aim to create multiple job roles.
The ex-master distiller of Jack Daniel’s, Jeff Arnett, opened a distillery for his Company Distilling brand in July as part of a US$20 million investment in Tennessee’s whiskey industry.
The distillery is located at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 20,000-square-foot refurbished building follows a ‘casual’ mountain-inspired theme, and also includes a tasting room, restaurant, brewery and retail store.
The tasting room’s location offers access to cycling, running and nearby mountain biking and hiking trails, and the site offers outdoor activities and entertainment across 31 acres including a live music venue, corn hole, pickle ball courts, bonfire pits, and access to greenway trails.
Bacardi-owned Angel’s Envy completed its US$8.2 million visitor centre expansion in Kentucky in June, which included a temporary virtual reality distillery experience in Decentraland.
The ‘meta distillery’ included a gamified and educational distillery production tour and Bourbon-making experience, interactive cocktail challenge, a proof of attendance protocol (POAP) token, a non-fungible token (NFT) wearable giveaway, and more.
The virtual reality distillery launched to coincide with National Bourbon Day, and remained open for a week.