If I was ever going to do a tree change, I might be tempted to move to Loch. Only 90 minutes from Melbourne, it’s home to the recently opened Loch Brewery and Distillery, where they are making beer, single malt whisky and gin.
For Craig and Mel, the owners, this project has been 7 years in the making. Neither of them come from an industry background, but have always dreamed of making whisky. During a period as a stay-at-home Dad to their daughter, Craig started to think more seriously about making their dream a reality. From only making whisky they decided to expand their plans and make real ale and distill gin.
They bought the old bank building (see above) in Loch. It’s a wonderful building, rich with historical detail. Craig showed me the old butcher’s cottage in the garden and the bank vault where they keep their gin botanicals.
For distilling they chose traditional alembic pot stills, and had them commissioned and made by hand in Portugal. Distilling is prohibited while people are on the premises, but you can open each one and take a quick sniff. The whisky still had completed a run early that morning and smelt deliciously malty.
The cellar door is so warm and cosy, even on a rainy day. I think it’s the sight of all the copper that warms you. I can think of nothing nicer than passing an afternoon drinking gin and tonics while Mr GQ samples the beer. (FYI he has tried them all and they got a huge thumbs up).
Mel and Craig are wonderful hosts who delight is sharing their passion with guests. Mel even dashed out in the pouring rain to grab us coffee and cake before we settled down to chat. It’s clear that they adore being part of the community and with the local pub closed, I imagine the community is glad they chose Loch for their home.
JOIN US ON THE GIN QUEEN ON TOUR VISIT TO LOCH ON SATURDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER.