New to Surry Hills is the Four Pillars Gin Distillery, retail shop, cocktail bar “Eileen’s” and the Four Pillars Drinks Lab, where you can enrol in a gin masterclass.
I’ve been to their distillery in the Yarra Valley, Victoria many years ago and absolutely love Four Pillars Gin. So when I heard they were opening up in NSW, I knew it would be a place to visit. We made sure to book ahead and it was necessary, for it was booked out for weeks. We were excited to get a booking for a group of 4 and headed in one Friday night for our gin experience.
From the street you’ll be first met with a brightly lit gin sign. This shop frontage shows off the retail shop which sells their small-batch gin varieties as well as the mainstream options.
For the bar, line up outside and the maître d will let you in and ascend upstairs right on time for your session, which is booked in 1.5 hour time slots. Eileens Bar is named after the giant copper still dominating the Lab which is attached to the bar and used to run masterclasses. For the bar, you make a booking with a $20 deposit which comes off your bill at the end.
This gin bar is out of this world good, The incredible range of cocktails shows the versatility of gin in their creations. From their dry gin, spiced Negroni gin, navy strength gin, modern Australian gin, Changing seasons gin, Sherry cask gin, Chardonnay gin, or a current popular choice is their limited edition rare Shiraz gin. You can try on the rocks, with tonic or as a cocktail.
This bar has some of the best cocktails we’ve had to date. So many flavour options for the cocktails we tried a few and all were impressive.
Bear Hug – bloody Shiraz Gin with pickled pear, pistachio and cassia
Inner Bloom – modern Australian gin, Davidson plum, macadamia and blood lime
Oki Doki Hinoki – changing seasons gin, toji junmai, hinoki, yuzu
Purple Yamos – bloody Shiraz gin, ube whey, citrus and whites
They do have classic cocktails, beers, wines and ciders, though I’m not sure why you’d want these when there are so many good cocktails. If you’re not a gin fan, the cocktails will undoubtedly change that.
The bar space is super cool, with bar seating, booths and tables. A dimly lit area with some lamps on the tables, and despite its expansive size, the lighting makes the space feel cozy and intimate. A centre bar dominates the space with neatly hanging bottles of gin. The colours are sleek, with natural elements; dark wood, exposed brick and black metal stools at the bar.
We are provided with some bar snacks; nuts which are dusted in gin salt, and some popcorn. We order some salt and vinegar crisps as well as cheese and crackers with marmalade. There is some more substantial options like a Jaffle or party pies.
Our wait staff were excellent, the waitress that served us, Amber was extremely helpful and knowledgeable on all of the drinks. We get the sense that she has had great training but also loves her work, and the gin.
You do need to make a booking, but make sure you do way ahead of time as it’s super popular. We will most certainly return.
Bussell Brothers Building, 406-410 Crown Street, Surry Hills