A lavish new cocktail bar and distillery in Armstrong Street, from the minds behind venues such as Hop Temple, Aunty Jacks and Roy Hammonds, has opened.
Grainery Lane enjoyed its official launch on Tuesday, opening the doors to its speakeasy, gold rush and prohibition-era influenced interior to the public.
The venue contains a gin distillery on site, and will serve cocktails alongside sharing plates of South-American-Asian fusion cuisine, with a focus on sourcing local artisanal produce.
"We really match the drinks and the food. It is a full experience you can have on site," he said.
"It goes from learning about cocktails, learning about the distilling process, all the way to having a dining out experience with food and drink in an awesome 1800s style venue.
"We want everyone to be themselves. It is relaxed in that way, but it is tricked up to give the customer a good experience."
The new venue derives its name from the historic laneway it sits on, which was home to many grain stores during Ballarat's gold rush.
The centrepiece of the venue is a one-of-a-kind mahogany saloon bar, which Mr Brian had hand-carved and imported from America - sitting alongside a 400L copper still.
Beyond the venue's hospitality offering, Grainery Lane has partnered with Ballarat's Federation TAFE to provide the curriculum and equipment for its new Certificate Four in Artisanal Products.
Mr Taylor said the program was a "world first" and would use the still housed in Grainery Lane alongside nearby Aunty Jacks' brewery.
Watch this space. People are doing fantastic things and we just want to be a part of that here in Ballarat.- Brian Taylor
"Beer and spirits tie in quite well. The brewery is used to make your raw spirits and then you transfer it across to your still to get the final product," he said.
"It is all about local produce, using as much local produce in our drinks as possible, and we do that with the grains in the brewery as well."
Grainery Lane will be the latest addition to the Armstrong Street hospitality precinct, which Mr Taylor said has moved from strength to strength over the last decade.
"I think Ballarat is a real food and drink destination now. I think it is fantastic that everyone supports each other in the industry," he said.
"We have that loyal Ballarat customer base. It is the whole point, Armstrong Street works together, they get along, and we want to grow it more in the future.
"Watch this space. People are doing fantastic things and we just want to be a part of that here in Ballarat."
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