Loch Distillery sounds like it should be in Scotland. It conjures images of a creaky, old, wind-battered, salt-spattered building, dwarfed by an inky black sea, the only sound other than the wind the whine of a corroded old copper still.

It couldn’t be further from the reality. Loch Brewery & Distillery, housed in a beautiful, 100-year-old red brick bank in the sunny South Gippsland town of Loch (just 90 minutes from Melbourne), is run by the very tall and strapping Craig Johnson and his partner Mel Davies. The couple have been brewing a range of spirits and ales here commercially since 2014.

Gin is the main focus, and it’s so good Rene Redzepi put it on the menu at Noma Sydney. Next to the Classic Dry Gin, there’s an Australian gin called The Weaver, distilled with native Australian botanicals like wattle seed and strawberry gum. There’s also one made specially for gin and tonics. Uniquely, Johnson and Davies also distil a range of gin liqueurs, slightly sweeter than regular gin and designed to drink neat.

Beer is also given a lot of attention. Loch brews three core beers – Best Bitter, County Ale and Dark Ale, each of which is based on classic seasonal British ales. Beyond beer, Loch distils a vodka and they’re about to release their first Single Malt Whisky.

The Loch cellar door is open on weekends so you can pop in and try the range. Johnson also keeps a wide array of Irish, Scottish and American whiskies behind the bar, so you can extend your tasting session beyond Loch’s products if you feel so inclined (although why would you want to?).

Loch Brewery & Distillery Cellar Door
44 Victoria Road, Loch

Friday to Sunday, 11am – 4pm