Bellarine Distillery

Bellarine Distillery was established in 2015 and is the first Distillery on the Bellarine Peninsula.
We are family owned and fiercely independent.
The distillery, established in 2015 by Russ Watson & Lorelle Warren, is the first distillery on the Bellarine Peninsula and the Geelong region since the 1980s. Russ’s fitter and turner background allowed him to design and build a bespoke distillery in a beautifully landscaped garden replete with heritage fruit and nut trees.
Nicky and Craig Michael joined in 2017, with Craig, holding a Bachelor of Science and Diploma in Distilling becoming the Head Distiller. We started commercial production of premium gin and single malt whisky in 2018, inspired by the long tradition of distilling and maturation of whisky, with a strong focus on science, experimentation, and innovation.

Having visited Scotland in 2012 and the romance of the highlands, the concept of starting our own distillery seemed like a good idea. It took a further 3 years to take delivery of our 1st Still “Ronald” then another 3 to complete work on our distillery door and open to the public.
We discovered the property which now hosts the distillery and our tasting room “The Whiskery” in 2014: The property had been owned by a farming family for over 60 years and previously ran as a chicken farm. Very early on Cobb and Co coaches used the dam at the front of the property as they passed through to Portarlington.
The land has a plethora of mature fruit trees including some heritage apple variety’s no longer available. The fertile black soil of the foothills provides rich ground for planting’s. Being at the foot of 3 valleys ensures that the environment receives plenty of water flow and the large trees which line the border of the property provide a natural barrier to harsher conditions.

We currently grow a range of botanicals on the property for our own use and we combine these and other Australian botanicals with the finest flavours the world has to offer to create our individually unique Gins.
Our tasting room, The Whiskery opened it’s doors to the public on the 25th April 2017 with our hero gin Teddy & The Fox as it’s only product. Teddy & The Fox quickly became a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike, going on to win many awards and the distillery winning Australian Gin Distillery of the Year 2022 at the Melbourne International Spirits Festival. We now have 5 gins, a Gin Liqueur along with award winning small batch single malt whisky releases each year.