Aussie gin distillery officially the world’s best producer for second straight year

Australian distillery Four Pillars has been named the International Gin Producer of the Year for the second consecutive year at the 51st International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) held in London.

The IWSC is the world’s longest-running, largest and most prestigious spirits competition with more than 4000 entries from distilleries across the globe. As with so many events in 2020, this year’s edition of the ceremony, which has normally been glamorous black-tie event in London’s Guildhall, was replaced with an online event on YouTube Premiere

Four Pillars became the first Australian distillery to win any International Producer of the Year title at the competition when it first won the title in 2019.

The IWSC has given the award again this year to the distillery for not only having “performed best in the competition with its individual products” but has also for having “led the category in innovation and excellence across the year.”

“Producer trophies are the pinnacle of achievement,” said IWSC Head of Tastings, Pip Mortimer. “They reward the overall portfolio, ethos and achievement of companies that enter the IWSC.”

Four Pillars co-founder and distiller Cameron Mackenzie was surprised but elated at the recognition

“After the year we’ve had and the exhaustion we have felt, I couldn’t quite believe it when they called out our name,” Mackenzie said. “I was wearing my full kilt for good luck, same as I did last year in London, and I don’t think I will take it off all day, maybe all week.

“This is a triumph for strength over adversity, for professionalism and passion in the face of what sometimes in 2020 seemed insurmountable odds,” Mackenzie added. “This is a victory for every single person in the Four Pillars world but, most particularly, for everyone at Healesville who has faced so much uncertainty and difficulty this year but has never stopped putting in the hard yards.”

Four Pillars was founded by Cameron Mackenzie, alongside drinks industry veteran Stuart Gregor and creative brand strategist Matt Jones, in 2013 at Yarra Valley on the outskirts of Melbourne.

The business took entered into a partnership with Lion (a subsidiary of Kirin) as a 50 per cent shareholder in April 2019 but the founders remain at the helm of the business. Currently, it produces around 600,000 bottles of gin per year, and its products are distributed in more than 30 markets across the world.

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