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Geelong and The Bellarine is known for producing some of the best wines in Australia but there’s also a burgeoning industry in the region: whisky. From distillery doors to whisky tasting rooms, single malt whisky to whisky gin, Geelong and The Bellarine is fast establishing itself as a go-to destination for this sophisticated spirit.

Ahead of World Whisky Day on Saturday 18 May, here’s our tips on where to head.

For whisky buffs, a stop at The Whiskery is a must. Located in Drysdale, The Whiskery is the cellar door for Bellarine Distillery. Their boutique whiskies achieve high spirit quality through thoughtful fermentation, distillation and maturation techniques.

At The Whiskery you can sip on their own ‘OAK’ single malt whisky, which is the first release in their flagship series. This whisky is a celebration of the rich and complex characters that oak can impart to malt spirit during maturation. A second flagship whisky is currently in the works, expected to be released in late 2024 / early 2025.

The Whiskery is also home to a large selection of whisky from all over the globe, along with Bellarine Distillery’s award-winning range of gins. You can also choose from a range of cocktails, local wines or craft brews, which can be paired with home style food, best enjoyed on the outside lawn by the fire. Lorelle Warren, co-owner and co-founder, has just been inducted into the Australian Distillers Hall of Fame 2024.

In Geelong, family-owned craft distillery Ceres Distilling Co have several whiskeys in the works, which will be released in the coming months. In the meantime, you can try their 50% ABC Whisky Gin, which has been aged in French oak whisky barrels. Coopered with a heavy char, the barrels infuse their spirit into the gin as it ages, resulting in a straw-coloured gin with oak and whisky notes.

The Whisky Gin, along with their range of award-winning gins and vodka can be sampled at their distillery and bar. Stay on for lunch or dinner and enjoy a charcuterie board or share plate that has been designed to match your craft spirit experience.

Anther Geelong Distillery also make whisky gins from their cellar door, bar and tasting room at the Federal Mills precinct – a reimagined heritage-listed woollen mill. The Anther Double Barrel Aged Cherry Gin rests in Ned Whisky’s American oak barrels for 12 months creating a decadent fruity character mixed with creamy juniper, spice and dark oak.

Another distillery playing in the whisky space is Queenscliff Distillery. Famous for their Bellarine inspired gins, they are currently working on a whisky, with a release date soon to be announced. Until then, whisky lovers can choose from more than 200 international whiskies, rums and gins at their Whisky Bar – this Mad Men style room is one of Queenscliff’s best kept secrets and you’ll need to book ahead.

FarmDog in Wallington also has a single malt whisky in production. Brewed and distilled onsite, the whisky is being aged in both American and French oak barrels and will be ready in 2026. Currently on offer are whisky sampling flights which features whiskies from far and wide. FarmDog is located on McGlashans Estate – a family run operation producing wine, small batch gin, craft beer and now whisky. Tasting flights are available for your drink of choice and can be paired with a delicious pizza or grazing plate. There is also beautiful accommodation on the property.

In addition to these great tasting options, Geelong and The Bellarine has some exciting whisky inspired events coming up:

Whisky and Wildfire Night at The Whiskery (Bellarine Distillery)

In celebration of the start of their whisky tasting season, Bellarine Distillery is hosting an evening under the stars with drams, fire and fun. Enjoy tastings of three of their own whiskies, including the privately released Superb Fairy Wren (not available for public purchase, only 82 bottles of this whisky were produced). There will also be live Celtic music from The Stovies and a Wildfire Craft BBQ.
When: Saturday 8 June, 4pm-8pm
Where: The Whiskery, Bellarine Distillery, 2102-2120 Portarlington Rd, Drysdale
Tickets: $15 for a gin lover ticket, or $40 for a whisky lover ticket

Black Sheep Geelong x Bellarine Distillery Whisky Dinner (details of this event are embargoed until 10am Tuesday 14 May, link for tickets will go live then)

Black Sheep Geelong and Bellarine Distillery are joining forces to host a whisky dinner – an intimate evening celebrating local whisky and food. Enjoy a whisky cocktail on arrival and learn about whisky production on The Bellarine over a three-course meal, featuring Black Sheep’s signature European inspired dishes, each expertly paired with a whisky tasting.
When: Thursday 13 June, from 6pm
Where: Black Sheep Geelong, 66 Brougham Street, Geelong
Tickets: $99 per person. Only 30 seats available
Link to photos

For further inspiration about what to do and where to stay in Geelong and The Bellarine, go to visitgeelongbellarine.com.au.

Photos, addresses, opening hours:


The Whiskery – link to photos
2102-2120 Portarlington Rd, Drysdale
Open: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 11am-5pm, Friday 11am-8pm, Saturday 11am-6pm. Note: the Whiskery is an 18+ only venue

Ceres Distilling Co. – link to photos
36/8 Lewalan St, Grovedale (10-minute drive from Geelong’s CBD)
Open: Friday 4pm-9pm, Saturday 12pm-10pm and Sunday 12pm-8pm

Anther Geelong Distillery – link to photos
PH3 Federal Mills, 33 Mackey St, North Geelong
Open: Monday & Thursday 12pm-5:30pm, Friday 12pm-6:30pm, Saturday 12pm-7:30pm

Queenscliff Distillery – link to photos
20 Gellibrand Street, Queenscliff
Open: 7-days a week 11am-6pm, Whisky Bar available for bookings only

FarmDog Brewing – link to photos (some image credits required)
225 Swan Bay Road, Wallington
Open: for lunch from Friday to Sunday 11am-5pm and for dinner Friday and Saturday nights