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Monday 13 May 2024

Crafty spirits: Geelong region emerging as a whisky hotspot

The Geelong and Bellarine region is known for producing some outstanding cool-climate wines, and it is now emerging as centre for whisky production.

From distillery doors to whisky tasting rooms, single malt whisky to whisky gin, Geelong and The Bellarine have plenty of tourism options ahead of World Whisky Day on Saturday, May 18.

The local tourism body has highlighted some of the best offerings, including The Whiskery in Drysdale (above).

The Whiskery is the cellar door for Bellarine Distillery and you can sip on their own 'OAK' single malt whisky, which is the first release in their flagship series. A second flagship whisky is currently in the works, expected to be released in late 2024/early 2025.

The Whiskery is also home to a large selection of global whiskies, along with Bellarine Distillery's award-winning range of gins. You can also choose from a range of cocktails, local wines or craft brews, which can be paired with food, best enjoyed on the outside lawn by the fire. It's a lovely spot on a sunny day.

In Geelong, family-owned craft distillery Ceres Distilling Co have several whiskies in the works, which will be released in the coming months.

In the meantime, you can try their rather unusual 50% ABC Whisky Gin, which has been aged in French oak whisky barrels.

The Whisky Gin, along with their range of gins and vodka, can be sampled at their distillery and bar. Stay on for lunch or dinner and enjoy a charcuterie board or share plate that has been designed to match the craft spirit experience.

Another distillery playing in the whisky space is Queenscliff Distillery.

Famous for its Bellarine gins, the team is currently working on a whisky, with a release date soon to be announced. Until then, whisky lovers can choose from more than 200 international whiskies, rums and gins at their Whisky Bar.

FarmDog in Wallington also has a single malt whisky in production. Distilled on-site, the whisky is being aged in both American and French oak barrels and will be ready in 2026. Currently on offer are whisky sampling flights which features whiskies from far and wide.

FarmDog is located on McGlashan's Estate - a family run operation producing wine, small batch gin, craft beer and now whisky. Tasting flights are available for your drink of choice and can be paired with a pizza or grazing plate. There is also accommodation on the property.

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