Set in the town of Hahndorf, just outside of Adelaide in the Adelaide Hills, Ambleside Distillers feels a world away from city life.
With their rapidly growing botanical walk and gorgeous tasting room, we highly recommend stopping in when you’re in the area.
Named for the road it’s situated on, Ambleside is the project of family trio Trudy, Steve and son Matt. Inspiration came during Matt’s time in the bar scene in London and a chance encounter with craft gin royalty, Sipsmith distillery. One eye (or palate) opening tasting later and the seeds were planted for a future gin project back home.
Like many craft projects in distilling, many of the ingredients were already in place to make this dream a reality. A small amount of acreage in a super location gave the family the opportunity to build right in their own backyard. Matt’s building experience came in handy when bringing the tasting room and distillery to life.
It’s a lovely, contemporary and welcoming space with a beautiful outlook to enjoy your tasting flight and a couple of cocktails. Even better in our opinion, is the window into the distillery itself where you can enjoy the coppery goodness of ‘Doug’.
Handcrafted locally in Australia, Doug was built in Ballarat before making his way over to Adelaide and his home at Ambleside.
Key to the story of Ambleside is the family’s desire to create a true local experience for visitors to enjoy. As such, not only will you enjoy the chance to try each of their gins at the tasting room, you can also complement them with all manner of locally produced foods.
Ambleside produce a core range of three gins, which we’ll come to in more detail in our ‘How to drink’ article. It’s the release of a very special gin though that says all you need to know about this super distilling family.
The family have been long time supporters of the South Australian Zoo and felt that the launch of Ambleside offered an opportunity to deepen this support. After meeting with zookeepers and hearing more about their efforts to save African rhinos from extinction, the family threw their support behind the project.
Zookeepers at Monarto Zoo helped them locate some indigenous botanicals found at the zoo to complement their recipe. From this the one off Kifaru gin was created with profits being donated to support the rhino sanctuary. An incredible $33k was donated by Ambleside thanks to this project and we can’t think of a better combination of gin enjoyment and wildlife appreciation.
You can guarantee if they revisit this super fundraiser, we’ll be the first to get our hands on a bottle!