in the making
A bit about us
G'day, kia ora and bonjour! Welcome to No.8 Distillery.
Once upon a time, nestled in a corner window bar with a peculiar name - Dog with Two Tail - in the sun-kissed city of Dunedin, a pair of unlikely comrades joined forces. Michael, an ex-military engineer with a addiction for coffee & chocolate, and Julien, a bloody French pastry chef, hatched a daring plan to open a boutique distillery in the heart of the city.
Their distillery was the first of its kind since the Willow Bank Distillery shuttered its doors back in 1997, and the locals were buzzing with excitement. The two friends spent countless hours perfecting their craft, using a unique blend of foraging, macerating, distilling, and mixology techniques.
Their vision was to demystify the art of distilling and make it more accessible to the good and gorgeous people of Dunners.
As the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months, the boutique distillery became the talk of the town. Over years was spent perfecting their craft, experimenting with new flavors and techniques to create the perfect blends.
Despite the challenges they faced, such as the millions of stairs that Julien had to climb to carry the heavy 20L drums, they never lost sight of their goal. Save the planet, drink No.8!
After a year, a page was turned to a new chapter in the city's history at Hanover St. But we will never forgot where the art of distilling was brought to life in a quirky and charming bar, where the drinks flowed freely, and the good times never stopped.
No.8 Distillery comes from the need to get things done with what we had to hand while setting up and installing our distillery during the April 2020 lockdown & fix everything with a No8 wire cable.
Our still is a beautiful Franken-machine named "Therese" with all sorts of parts thrown together and reconfigurable (yes, we both played a lot with lego when we were kids). We’ve ended up with a unique still that can do more than most stills her size.
The No.8 attitude carries on in the way that we’ll experiment with different and unconventional ways of extraction to see what we get.
In 2016, Julien brought to life their first gin - Horopito Gin, made with 8 main ingredients. It quickly became a favorite among the locals and the second main reason for No8.
Julien is the mad guru behind the spirits. He is the distillation of three generations of distillation. Julien’s family come from Deauville - Normandy - France and have distilled Calvados, an apple liquor and speciality of the region, since 1910. Julien is following a proud family tradition and we have named the still Thérèse in honour of his grand-mère.
Julien has also worked as a chef and pastry chef for 18 years, including working as senior sous chef and head pastry chef at Michelin starred restaurant and 5 stars hotel.
For Julien, different spirits suit different moods. He crafts spirits to be full of flavour and to appeal to different states of mind. The Horopito Gin works well when you’re feeling extroverted and the Hibiscus Gin is the one to give you a hug.
Hanover St. - New goal!
In January 2022, our journey began on Hanover Street where we set our sights on scaling up production, offering functions, retail services, but most importantly, sharing the love of No8 through our tours and tastings. Unfortunately, our baggage was dropped along the way, but that hasn't stopped us from pushing forward.
At No8 Distillery, sustainability is at the core of every decision we make. From launching our wild range of organic spirits crafted from 100% NZ local products, to foraging for unique botanicals like Horopito, Tarata, and Kawakawa, we are committed to reducing our environmental impact at every stage of the business.
We also actively participate in farmers markets, using fresh and leftover products to create new premium spirits like fruit liqueurs and vodka. Our customers can even earn rewards by swapping and refilling their bottles. We offer bulk discounts for hospitality businesses and use bio-ink and compostable paper in our packaging.
Our latest creation, the Moka Gin, is made from by-products such as cocoa husk from Ocho Chocolate and Cascara from Vanguard Coffee. We source 100% organic citrus from Gisborne and Hawkes Bay, and even use rainwater in our double steam jacket and condenser still.
But our commitment to sustainability doesn't stop there. Our 0 waste plan program ensures that all organic products are given to farmers for composting. We also recycle cardboard, glass, T-pack, different types of plastic, and batteries, and we are proud to say that we only produce one bag of general waste per month.
In 2022, No8 Distillery was granted a bronze award by Qualmark, which is an accreditation that acknowledges our dedication to sustainable tourism.
Through our unwavering commitment to delivering outstanding tours, tastings, and services, we have become a leading player in the spirits tourism industry in Dunedin. By partnering with Qualmark, we offer travelers more than just a logo that signifies our status as a top-quality tourism business.
The No8 spirits range comprises of about 12 fixed products, which increases to over 15 with the addition of seasonal offerings. This provides a wide range of options even for those who don't prefer gin. Since our first year of operation, we have been proud recipients of awards in New Zealand and overseas for each of our spirits. This reflects the consistency and high-quality of our premium products, and is a testament to our loyal customer base. We have won over 30 medals for our Gins, Rum, Absinthe, and Liqueurs, making us the most awarded distillery in the Otago Peninsula.
In 2022, our Horopito Gin was recognized as the world's best New Zealand contemporary-style gin and our Ouzo was NZ trophy winner for botanical & other spirits category.
What for the future?
As No8 Distillery embarks on its next chapter, Julien is determined to lead the charge in sustainability and carbon neutrality. With a vision for a future that is environmentally responsible and socially conscious, the team is committed to creating a distillery that is truly sustainable from start to finish and we will start this new adventure soon at Bond Street in 2023.
Julien has a strong desire to continue innovating and draw on his French heritage to create unique spirits, such as calvados or French-style arranged rum, utilizing the incredible resources of As a Rum enthusiast, aims to establish the Otago Peninsula and Central Otago as the primary hub for the rum market.
In 2023 No8 plan to fill-up the first cask.
You can already contacting us to buy your own
We are constantly seeking to establish new and robust partnerships for overseas exports. If you appreciate our story and would like to assist Julien in spreading the No8 Love, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Stay tuned as we work towards a greener future for spirits production!
Distilling consultancy service
At No8, we offer a comprehensive range of services to support your spirits business. Whether you're just starting out or looking to expand, we can help you with company, recipe, and distillery development, providing step-by-step guidance, information, advice, and R&D for small to large-scale production.
We also offer consultation, tasting, training, brand development, and marketing strategy (with partners) to help you succeed in the highly competitive spirits sector.
Our extensive network of local and overseas suppliers ensures that you have access to the best ingredients and resources to achieve your goals.
In addition to our core services, we offer full product development for Rum, Gin, Liqueurs, etc, including botanical supply on request. Our on-site consulting and development services are designed to help improve your product quality and efficiency with the help of our 400L & 80L modern stills.
We can also provide contract bottling upon request.
DYE Brand Ambassador
Since day 1, Julien has maintained a close relationship with DYE China, a leading manufacturer of distillery and brewery equipment known for providing high-quality equipment and service. In 2023, Julien was honored to be selected as one of the brand ambassadors for Transmania.
With his extensive experience in the industry, Julien is well-equipped to help you with your distillery project, including new distillery design and equipment selection. He can offer guidance and support every step of the way, working closely with DYE China to ensure that you receive top-notch equipment and service.
So whether you're just starting out or looking to upgrade your existing distillery, Julien is here to help you achieve your goals. Don't hesitate to reach out to him for assistance with your project.