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.