Manly Spirits Company – Distillery Review

It’s not the place where you would expect to find Sydney’s first artisan distillery, but in the heart of an industrial estate on Sydney’s northern beaches sits the up and coming Manly Spirits Company.


The Manly Spirits Company is located about a 10-15 minute drive from the internationally acclaimed Manly Beach (and now rated Sydney’s number 1 beach by Trip Advisor)


A relative newcomer the distillery opened in May 2017 after the company founders, David & Vanessa Witten took inspiration to open their own distillery after visiting some of the fabulous whisky distilleries now operating in Tasmania. What followed on from that was a whirlwind 15 months of intense research at distilleries in the USA, Europe, Scotland and other locations in the UK.

With David’s background in chemical engineering the scientific side of the processes were certainly in good hands. However another ingredient that is necessary for boutique distilleries to succeed is passion for the crafting of the spirits. This is certainly evident in many of the Tasmanian family operated distilleries and David and Vanessa certainly embraced the assistance and guidance they received from many of their Tasmanian counterparts.

Somehow with all this ‘schooling’ going on they still managed to oversee the ordering of their pot stills, barrels and all the various components that go into setting up a manufacturing base. David told me that their major problem was that as the delivery of all these components was nearing they still had not located a suitable site to commence their setting up their operations.

Fortunately a site came up just in time in an industrial estate in Brookvale and the frantic process of assembling their operation commenced. The Manly Spirits Company officially launched operations in May 2017, which if you can believe is only 15 months from when they first formulated this idea on their Tasmanian whisky trip. It is an incredible feat to be able to accomplish this in such a short period of time. However if you consider on top of the distillery operations setup they have been able to open up commercial supply with their gins and vodkas into bars and restaurants and have recently struck a deal to stock these products into one of Australia’s most prestigious liquor retailers on a national basis is a real feather in their cap.

Manly Spirits Local Ingredients

Wall of Local Ingredients


The Spirits: Single Malt Whisky – Hand Made Gin – Botanical Vodka

The spirits are distilled in their 2 Holsten copper stills (which are named Bella & Jordan).

The Manly Spirits Company have undertaken to specialize in 3 spirits:

  • Gin – which is distilled with Australian native & foraged botanicals most of which are sustainably sourced from the local northern beaches environment. Some of the ingredients include: sea lettuce, finger limes, sea parsley & beach cast kelp to name a few.
  • Botanical Vodka – using selected Australian wheat
  • Single Malt Whisky (a work in progress as the first batch is slowly maturing in both Pinot & Bourbon barrels)

The spirits are distilled in their 2 Holsten copper stills (which are named Bella & Jordan).

Manly Spirits Co Distillery Tour

Manly Spirits Co Distillery Tour

Events & Functions:

The venue is available to hire for your next event. The warehouse environment mixed with lounges, timber bourbon barrels & the gleaming stills of Bella & Jordan certainly make for a unique party environment. To find out more about their functions follow this link. 

Distillery Tours:

A distillery tour is a great way to gain an insight into the processes involved in crafting artisan spirits. You will be able to touch taste and feel many of the botanical ingredients use to give the spirits their distinctive aromas and flavours. After the tour you will be treated to an in depth tasting experience of spirits carefully selected by the Head Distiller.

Tours of the distillery are available on Friday, Saturday & Sunday but are limited to only 15 people at a time.

To find out more or book a tour click here.

Distillery Tasting Bar:

A distillery tour may not be your thing so maybe you would prefer to lay back in a chesterfield lounge or around a whisky barrel to savoir one of the delicious spirits or cocktails. The bar is open from 4pm on Fridays and from 12pm on Saturday & Sundays.

Share cheese/ charcuterie boards & olive bowls are available.


If you would like a very different experience then the Manly Spirits Company is definitely worth a visit. It has a unique vibe that is created by the mix of modern industrial and old world whisky barrels & styled pipes running in all directions from the beautiful copper steam stills.

The bar staff have a great working knowledge of the Manly Spirits product range and are very friendly and attentive to your needs. You can also purchase spirits from the bar to take away as a wonderful memory of your visit.

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