One such quirky business is Deep South Distillery, the southernmost craft distillery in the peninsula. Making beautiful gins, rums and vodkas in small batches of carefully crafted spirits, the distillery has been adopted by many in the valley as ‘their’ distillery. With its unusual upside-down penguin as a logo, it is full of surprises. Its unassuming, industrial exterior opens into a well-equipped, professional working distillery with gleaming tanks, stills and equipment, as well as a bar and tasting area. It offers an intimate tour of the distillery, where visitors get the chance to understand and experience the business of craft spirits, followed by a tasting of the distillery’s products. The owner and distiller, Steve Erlank, is frequently on hand to share his passion for great spirits. Although the distillery has only been open for a few months, its Cape Dry Gin (a London Dry style gin with cape botanicals grown on the mountainside) won Double Gold at Michelangelo Wine and Spirits awards before the distillery actually opened, and its beautiful pink Ruby gin was awarded a Gold medal recently by the South African Women’s Wine and Spirit awards.
The distillery can also be rented as a venue for private tastings and events, and is becoming a quirky venue for book clubs, societies, and birthday parties. In the next few months, leading into summer, the distillery will be offering themed evenings with a range of activities from blending one’s own gin recipe to gin mixology where one can experiment with a range of mixers and garnishings... read more
A gin-tasting at this small distillery in an industrial park in Kommetjie is one-third knowledge, one-third alcohol and one-third fun! Open since mid-December 2017, Steve Erlank and James Copeland are hoping to make the world a better place one drink at a time. Steve will happily take you on a distillery tour where you will meet Tiny, Whiny and Shiny, watch bottles being hand-labelled, along with learning about the distillation process. This is followed by a tasting of their two gins, being the Cape Dry Gin (London dry style gin infused with Cape botanicals, including mountain fynbos and Honeybush) and the ‘unashamedly floral’ Ruby Gin, which was originally developed as a Christmas gin. You are given total permission to play with your gins, so expect to add orange peel, thyme, strawberries and rosemary (to name a few) to your glass.
Gin-tastings are available every Saturday from 11:00 to 15:30 until the end of March 2018 and cost R60 per person, but if you buy a bottle (R330) then your tasting is free. They are also happy to host private tastings for groups of 8-16 people during the week and evenings, along with being available for private events – they also have a pop-up gin bar!
Andrew Thompson - Freelance Writer
The seaside suburb of Kommetjie has a bit of a reputation as a laid-back surfers’ paradise, and that’s exactly the atmosphere this new local distillery is tapping into. There’s very little pretense in the Deep South Distillery, and the owners are usually on hand to take interested visitors on a tour around the venue. They make two gins at the distillery, and guests are free to tinker with their drinks by adding various ingredients to find the right flavours for their palates.