Drinks News

Four Pillars is releasing its first non-alcoholic range

The flavours for the Bandwagon and the Bloody Bandwagon were inspired by two of the Victorian gin giant’s flagship spirits.

Photo: courtesy of Four Pillars
Since its founding in 2013, Four Pillars has established itself as one of Australia's most popular distilleries – both locally and abroad. So it's strange that it's taken the brand this long to get in on the booming non-alcoholic market.
"[Non-alcoholic spirits] have really become a bandwagon that we've jumped on," says co-founder Cameron Mackenzie. "Which is partially why we've called it Bandwagon."
But the other rationale behind Four Pillars' long-awaited entry into the sector is a more practical one: providing a worthwhile non-alcoholic option for guests at their venues, particularly their Healeasville distillery flagship, which has just completed a multi-year expansion and revamp.
"We get about 100 000 people through the doors each year, many of whom have a set of car keys in their hands," says Mackenzie. "For us to be able to offer a sensory experience to those that can't drink on the day and are simply driving friends around is really crucial."
There are two "not-gins" in the range. The first product is Bandwagon Dry. Modelled after Four Pillars' Rare Dry flagship gin, Bandwagon Dry's botanicals include a classic juniper base with lemon myrtle and coriander seeds. To build the warming burn typical of gin, Cameron used fresh chilli during the steaming process, "It has a light lingering warmth to it on the palate," Mackenzie explained, "if you're after a refreshing not-gin and tonic, it's going to be as flavourful as the original."
Four Pillars may be jumping on the non-alcoholic bandwagon, but the team are glad they took their time. "[Making Bandwagon] was damn hard," Mackenzie says. "[Non-alcoholic gin] doesn't have the same palate weight as alcohol, and trying to get the flavours into that is really difficult – we certainly threw out a couple of recipes."
"But we finally got it to the point where we would happily drink it any night of the week."
Bandwagon Dry and Bloody Bandwagon will release at the start of July.