Yarra Valley-based distiller, Four Pillars, has opened its Surry Hills ‘Laboratory’. Housed in the 1930s Bussell Brothers building, the Four Pillars Laboratory is a veritable gin palace and incorporates a Gin Shop, Gin Lab featuring an experimental still (Eileen, named after co-founder Matt Jones’ mother) and Eileen’s Bar, a destination cocktail bar, all at the new epicentre of Crown Street, Surry Hills.

EILEEN’S BAR

Designed by YSG Studio, Eileen’s Bar is Four Pillars’ dream gin bar and combines aesthetic beauty, superb cocktails, delicious gin drinks (plus a few not-gin drinks too), a snack menu from food legend Matt Wilkinson and Four Pillars’ own trademark warmth and hospitality.

The centrepiece of the Four Pillars Sydney experience, Eileen’s Bar, is accessed via a discreet door on the corner of Fitzroy and Crown Streets. A ‘juniper blue’ 20-stool, concrete bar at 11m in length, is the gleaming stage and dominates the 60-person venue (currently at 24-person capacity).

Supremely comfortable banquette seating is organised around the perimeter, the dark timber and cork finishes receding to keep the focus on the cocktail-making action. The seating is from Cult’s Nau range, blue-stained Sia bar stools and chairs by local designer Tom Fereday, while the banquettes are upholstered in navy fabric by Kvadrat Maharam. At the rear of the space, in a moody alley dubbed ‘Tinder Lane’, beautifully finished timber tables anchor cosy settings for two.

Oslo-based bar design agency Behind Bars worked with Creative Drinks Director, James Irvine, to create a beautifully bespoke bar set-up in stainless steel to comfortably accommodate four very busy bartenders.

Eileen’s drinks menu, designed by Irvine, combines gin classics and modern masterpieces utilising the full Four Pillars family of gins. From the modern spectrum, Money Trees is a balance of tropical fruit and acidity with Navy Strength Gin, Kakadu plum, kiwifruit, lime leaf and carbonated to order. Or Innerbloom, juicy, round and plump with Davidson plum, macadamia and blood lime mixed with Modern Australian Gin. The Purple Yamos combines Bloody Shiraz Gin, ube whey, citrus and whites and is a very fun take on the renowned Ramos Gin Fizz.

Classics like the Gin Lab Martini feature the new Sydney Winter Gin (made on-site by the distilling team led by co-founder Stuart Gregor) with lemon myrtle, native sandalwood and orange oils, and, of course, there’s aperitivo royalty with the Negroni, celebrated with Spiced Negroni Gin.

You’ll also find drinks from several of Four Pillars’ best mates in the business including Payten & Jones Chardonnay, Dirty Three Riesling, Thick as Thieves Pinot Noir Gamay plus tinnies of beer and cider.

Maestro Matt Wilkinson has a come up with a very drink-friendly menu that features multiple Made from Gin products such as Salt and Gin Vinegar Crisps and Jimmy’s Taramasalata with Yarra Valley Gin-smoked Caviar, or there’s Angelachu Anchovies, Steak and Pepper Party Pies or a Gin Lab Jaffle with mortadella and mozzarella. The snack menu will change from time to time as more Made from Gin products come into the fold as seasons change.

Eileen’s Bar opens from 5pm – midnight, Wednesday through Saturday

THE FOUR PILLARS GIN LAB

The Lab, with Eileen, the 70L German-engineered Carl copper still as its star, offers all-day gin drinks for walk-in customers including the much-loved Four Pillars G&T Paddle (three different gins, three garnishes and a bottle of Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic) alongside a collection of gin classics including a regularly-changing martini, a perfect Negroni and a drink likely to become a Surry Hills brunch favourite, the spicy Red Snapper. You can also book gin, distiller and cocktail masterclasses here, too. You can find the menu here.

The Four Pillars Gin Lab opens from 12pm – 6pm every day

THE FOUR PILLARS GIN SHOP

The Gin Shop on the ground floor features all the signature and limited-edition gins that have made Four Pillars Australia’s favourite gin producer, alongside the bar gear, books, merch and Made From Gin Marmalade and Chocolate that we all know and love.

The Four Pillars Gin Shop opens from 10am – 6pm every day

Gin lovers wishing to visit Eileen’s Bar (bookings only for now) or book into a masterclass at the Gin Lab should visit www.fourpillarsgin.com. Please note, current capacities in the Gin Shop, Gin Lab and Eileen’s Bar are restricted according to NSW state-mandated Covid-19 protocols so numbers will be strictly limited.

Source: Four Pillars Gin