Nestled in the heart of Berry, a new haven for gin-tasting and cocktails has emerged, offering delights from a South Coast distillery.
The chic new bar, found in the WorkLife co-working space on Albert Street, will open Friday nights plus Saturday and Sundays from 11am into the evening.
Tara Distillery founder, Alarna Doherty, envisions not just a bar but an experience - a fusion of a cocktail haven, a distillery showcase, and a celebration of spirits.
"We were looking for a pop-up over the summer, the universe must have been speaking," said Tara Distillery founder Alarna Doherty.
"We'll be offering a cocktail bar experience, a limited wine and beer menu, but also a distillery experience."
Expect gin, whiskey and vodka tastings, cocktail-making workshops, "meet the maker" nights and eventually gin-making classes.
WorkLife operator Kate Dezarnaulds said it felt like "all her Christmases came at once" when Nowra Hill-based distillery accepted her invitation to come on board.
"They just have an extraordinary product and they've done all the hard yards on getting it on the top shelve of all of the great restaurants around the place," she said.
The distillery was born in late 2020 after Ms Doherty had the revelation to give up corporate life to distill spirits like the vigilantes of long ago.
"This area was quite notorious, but well known because of the great 'Berry moonshine'," Ms Doherty said.
In the late 1800s, the Cambewarra ranges concealed the clandestine world of illicit distillation, where Shoalhaven's bootleggers mastered the art of making spirits.
These renegades ingeniously harnessed cabbage trees for their distillation pipework to extract and purify alcohol from liquids. They shrouded their operations behind waterfalls and outwitted authorities with deceptive fires in the rugged mountains.
Fast forward 140 years, and a new chapter has begun when Tara became the region's first craft distillery since the industry's closure, sparking a revival in local distillation.
"I've never thought about my corporate life again," Ms Doherty said.
"I love standing in the shed distilling and looking out at the farmland that surrounds us and it's awesome. Very peaceful looking at the cattle next door, munching on our spent grain."
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