Four Pillars was the winner of the IWSC’s inaugural Green Spirits Trophy, discover what gave them the edge for this new award…

IWSC news

Thu 5 Jan 2023

The IWSC recently awarded Australia’s Four Pillars Distillery its inaugural Green Spirit Initiative Trophy. A new award created to recognise the myriad of considerate distillation and spirit production practices underway across the world, we are delighted to share the news that the Green Spirit Initiative Trophy is open for entry to all brands entering the IWSC’s 2023 awards.

Four Pillars was named the worthy winner at the IWSC’s Awards Dinner in September, following the tricky task of our award judges, including IWSC Judging Committee member David T Smith , Mark Crumpton from the award’s sponsor Berlin Packaging and Sam Cooklin-Smith from the IWSC, agreeing the overall winner from an incredibly competitive shortlist.

Following the announcement, the IWSC caught up with Four Pillars to discover more about the initiatives being implemented at its distillery in Healesville, 50km north-east of Melbourne.

Four Pillars Co-Founder and Head Distiller, Cameron Mackenzie comments: “When we started making gin in 2013 we always wanted to be as sustainable as we could, but distilling uses a lot of energy, glass and waste, we recognise that.”

Two of Four Pillars key initiatives that really appealed to our judges were the “Made From Gin” waste saving initiative and the work carried out in the past few years on the newly expanded distillery, “Healesville 2.0”.

Four Pillars “Made From Gin” program aims to reduce as much distilling waste as possible. Over the past 12 months Four Pillars has used the oranges leftover from the distillation process to produce 25,000 jars of marmalade.

Additionally, spent botanicals are dried and processed into Gin Salt and Gin Chocolate and any remaining botanicals are composted on site and in community gardens.

Four Pillars 'Made from Gin' Marmalade, Gin Salt and Gin Chocolate

“Healesville 2.0” is Four Pillars expanded distillery. It was opened in April 2022 and has been built with some of the most progressive sustainable initiatives imaginable – from radical cooling veils to pineapple leather, solar and a massive reduction in glass waste.

The expanded distillery has almost doubled the size of the existing site, working together with Breathe Architecture and Never Stop Group the new site is more sustainable and eco-friendly.

Standout features include the distillery’s centrepiece copper bar which is equipped with copper gin pipes to reduce glass waste, bringing the gin straight to the bar without the need for bottling. Even the tonic water is from a keg, saving 800kg of glass/week.

Shortly before the opening of the expanded distillery, in March 2022, Four Pillars became Australia’s first certified Carbon Neutral gin distilling business with both the new distillery itself and all the gins bottled on the premises, certified Carbon Neutral.

The IWSC’s Green Spirits Initiative Trophy is open for entrants to the 2023 spirits awards. From April, all spirits entrants will be contacted with an entry form for this trophy. Discover more information here.