Get the first look inside Granddad Jack’s brand-new craft distillery and tasting room in Albion
Few Southeast Queensland distilleries have earned as much acclaim in as short a timeframe as Granddad Jack’s Craft Distillery. The Miami-born family-operated business concocts sentimental spirits imbued with history – gin, whisky and vodka boasting equal parts botanicals and nostalgia. Last Friday July 9, the crew officially opened a brand-new tasting room and distillery in the industrial heart of Albion, continuing the story of Granddad Jack, sharing his recipes and gifting Brisbane residents with some must-try exclusives. Take a look inside …
If you asked David and Luke Ridden, the father-son duo behind Gold Coast’s Granddad Jack’s Craft Distillery, if they envisioned opening a second location a mere three years on from the business’s inception, they’d say absolutely not. In 2018, the Ridden family launched its Miami-based operation with the intention of becoming storytellers rather than large-scale booze producers, sharing the tale of David’s late grandfather David ‘Granddad Jack’ Goulding – his adventures and passions – with the local community. It was Granddad Jack’s work ethic and love for a good whisky that first inspired his grandson and great-grandson to enter the distilling game, continuing the patriarch’s legacy by sharing his spirit recipes with Gold Coast sippers. Despite the Ridden family’s humble ambitions, Granddad Jack’s top-shelf product quickly earned numerous accolades and, with it, attention. These days, its Lemana Lane site has become a popular pilgrimage spot for fans of gin, vodka and whisky, with an increasing number of its regular tasting room and distillery tour clientele making the trip down the M1 from Brisbane. With a burgeoning market growing close by, David and Luke decided to expand their community northward and open a second distillery and tasting room in Brisbane – securing a site on Collingwood Street in Albion (just around the corner from Fonzie Abbott and down the street from soon-to-open micro precinct Craft’d Grounds) in which to tell a different side of Granddad Jack’s story and expand their family.
Much like its Miami sibling, Granddad Jack’s Albion boasts a warm and rustic interior (achieved after a whirlwind five-month build) fashioned from a palette of recycled materials, eschewing a straightforward bar feel. The rawness of structural elements like exposed brick, concrete and steel are softened by plenty of aged timber, greenery and leather. Although narrower than its coastal predecessor, this new locale is deep, with guests moving from the gleaming 300-litre still at the entrance (with a capacity capable of producing 2500 bottles of spirit a year), past a merchandise space and toward the six-metre-long concrete bar, tasting area and adjacent barrel room. While it shares similar decorative and aesthetic flourishes, Granddad Jack’s Albion tells a different part of David Goulding’s life story. Where Miami boasts an on-site barber as an homage to Granddad Jack’s 48-year career owning a barbershop, Albion features a greenhouse in the rear similar to the one Granddad Jack had in his own backyard. Not only will the abundance of greenery help temper the industrial vibes of the distillery’s interior, it will also be used to grow botanicals used in the distilling process and the garnishes that feature in the tasting room’s cocktails. The walls of the space are adorned with photographs of Granddad Jack throughout the years, from his stint as a racehorse rider (his 100-year-old racing helmet is also on display) to images of him enjoying a nip of whisky at home.
Granddad Jack’s tasting room is designed to give patrons an in-depth experience of the distillery’s lauded range, all of which is made on site. Guests will be able to book in for one of three two-hour sessions, where they’ll be able to purchase a tasting tray of Granddad Jack’s core range (the botanical-laced Greenhouse Gin, London Dry-style sip Two Pencils Gin and the navy-strength 65 Miles Gin), a bespoke G&T or an artfully concocted signature cocktail. A small clutch of beers brewed at the Miami distillery are available on tap as well as a range of special barrel-aged cocktails. Those keen to take some of Granddad Jack’s range home with them will be able to buy bottles of the core range, Barbershop Coffee Liqueur, grape-based Penny Vodka, the Asian-inspired Albion Gin (only available at the Albion location), a limited-edition spirit of the month (also exclusive to Brisbane) and Granddad Jack’s popular Bailiff, single-malt, peated and bourbon-style whisky. Like at its coastal location, Granddad Jack’s Albion also boasts its own Club54 membership program, which gives members a shelf to keep their own limited-edition spirits on hand for each visit as well as access to several exclusive events per year and first dibs at special releases. While there is no kitchen on site, peckish patrons are welcome to BYO their own food.
Granddad Jack’s Craft Distillery in Albion is now open to the public. Head to the Stumble Guide for operating hours and booking details.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.