Sebastian Reaburn & Dervilla McGowan
Seb and Dervilla run their boutique distillery Anther Distillery out of North Geelong's historic Federal Woollen Mills building. The duo get a kick out of experimenting with native ingredients when creating their small-batch gin. With 22,000 Australian edible botanicals at their disposal, there's plenty of possible flavour combinations to work with.
Their setting is yet another source of inspiration. The distillery itself looks across Corio Bay – you can spot the heritage building's distinctive chimney from Eastern Beach, near Geelong's CBD. The couple live near the Barwon River, where Seb trains for marathons and Dervilla goes for leisurely strolls with daughter Ariella and the family dog.
'We often look at one another with pride and, still, a little bit of surprise and say: "We live here".' Dervilla says. 'It feels like we are getting away with something wonderful.'
Seb and Dervilla share their favourite spots in and around Geelong.
1. The Continental
Dine fine in Geelong's Little Malop Street, at bar slash restaurant The Continental. The shared menu is inspired by modern European cuisine. 'What they do with cabbage at The Continental needs to be seen to be believed – a whole head of cabbage, roasted with butter and garlic. Exquisite,' says Dervilla. Another favourite eatery is North Geelong cafe the Pickers Union, who serve up top-notch coffee and simple tasty fare.
2. The 18th Amendment
If they're out dining without their daughter in tow, Seb and Dervilla will nip into this cosy bar, which is inspired by the speakeasies of America's prohibition era. For cocktails, Dervilla recommends the Jitter-bug – 'It's sensational!' The duo are old friends with owner George Camorra. Look out for a bottle of Anther's first batch of gin on display in the glass cabinet lining the wall.
3. Eastern Beach
Built back in 1930, Geelong's famous water precinct has something for the whole family. 'Seb and myself have made ourselves sick, rolling down the very steep hills there while Ariella remains immune.' There's a cafe on the beach front, a swimming area, a playground and plenty of public art on display.
4. Buckley Falls
Named after escaped convict William Buckley, these falls are a short drive from the Geelong city centre. 'We often walk there in winter to see the many moods of the Barwon River,' Dervilla says. Head there after a heavy downpour to see the falls at their most impressive.
5. Black Sheep
This recently opened restaurant consulted with every gin maker in the region, before launching the Chamber of Gin, a 'gin hub'. The venue is located in the heritage-listed Woolstores building, which also houses the National Wool Museum. Flock there for a gin tasting, and order from their menu of modern European cuisine, made with native Australian ingredients.