Cast your mind back to March 2020. Pubs were closed, we were limited to essential outings only and we were still largely unaware of what the next two years had in store. It was during this strange not-quite lockdown when mates Andrew Langton, David Beaton and Ryan Goding sank a couple of socially distanced beers in the backyard. After a couple of tins, the evening’s musings eventually turned to the topic of their favourite wateringholes and, more specifically, what it was that made the experience enjoyable. Booze, obviously, but it was more than that. They realised that having a drink isn’t just about the taste, but who you’re sharing it with alongside a host of other intangible things such as atmosphere, the feel of the moment, and how it interacts with other moments to form memories. This very discussion led to the bright idea of opening a distillery on the northern Gold Coast, where there was a noticeable absence of distillery bars. The difference between this idea and the countless others that have been conceived after a couple of beverages is that they had the conviction to follow it through.
At the time, Andrew worked at Balter Brewing Company in Currumbin, so when it came to deciding where, what and when – he had a few ideas. The one thing he and the rest of the team weren’t sure about was how. Other than enjoying the odd tipple, the gents realised pretty early on that they knew nothing of the distilling process. Rather than view this as an insurmountable hurdle, they put the feelers out for someone who did. Their search came to an abrupt end when they found Tudor Duxbury, who knows an awful lot about the process having crafted spirits for a number of distilleries around the place including Wildflower Gin in Varsity Lakes. Fast-forward to May 2022 and White Oat Distillery has rolled up its doors for the very first time. The sizeable space provided the ideal canvas for the mates’ first foray into the spirit world. Inside, White Oat is a thing of beauty. Communal timber tables fill the floor space underneath strings of festoon lights. A blush-coloured bar set against a matte-black tiled backdrop vyes for attention but, try as you might, your eyes will immediately be drawn to the brilliantly shiny copper-hued distilling equipment, which is capable of pumping out 4000 bottles of gin a day. Thinking back to that original conversation, the pals have gone to great lengths to ensure they nail both the tangible and intangible elements of what makes a wateringhole great.
In terms of its output, White Oat Distillery aims to make gin accessible to everyone. The maiden range includes a London Dry Gin with citrus notes for those who prefer a savoury-style sip, alongside a berry-pink creation that has hints of raspberry and strawberries. Keep it refreshingly simple with a gin and soda or, for something a little bit extra, take a peek at the cocktail list, which is filled with a handful of gin-based concoctions. Not a fan of gin? No worries, there’s Balter on tap. Rounding out White Oat Distillery’s offering is a rotating roster of food trucks and live music throughout the weekend. Oh, and it’s family-friendly too!
If you’re fond of a gin, add White Oat Distillery to the top of your list. Skip over to our Stumble Guide for opening times.