Four Pillars Has Brought Back Its Sticky Carpet Gin That Pays Boozy Tribute to the Front Bars in Pubs

Originally inspired by St Kilda's Hotel Esplanade, this tipple is back with a new version — this time featuring Little Creatures Pale Ale in its base.
Sarah Ward and Libby Curran
Published on March 15, 2024

How do you capture the essence of a pub in a drink? How do you make sipping a cocktail conjure up the feeling of hanging out in a hotel's front bar, with your feet almost glued to the carpet and the unmistakable smell of beer in the air? How do you whip up a spirit that pays tribute to an iconic Australian watering hole that's closing in on a century and a half of pouring beverages, too? These are the questions that Four Pillars is answering with its Sticky Carpet Gin.

This tipple dates back to 2018, when it arrived as a boozy ode to the legendary haunt that is The Espy in St Kilda in Melbourne. First, you could only try it in cocktails at the pub it was inspired by. Then, it became available by the bottle in 2019, but only as a limited release. Now, Four Pillars has brought it back — and also given it some tinkering.

The Healesville distillery had one aim from the outset with its Sticky Carpet Gin: capturing the spirit of a venue that's meant many different things to different people for many, many years. Four Pillars co-founder and distiller Cameron Mackenzie's first effort was such a success that it's become the gin that more folks request to be brought back than any other of the brand's gin. Start saying cheers to Sticky Carpet Gin again, then, given that it's back in Four Pillars' online store now.

The new version of the tipple still wants to give everyone that's sipping it an unmistakable pub feel. This time, however, Mackenzie has swapped out roasted dark stout for using Little Creatures Pale Ale in the gin's base. The beer goes into the still with juniper, coriander, barley, cassia, macadamia nuts, orris root, lemon myrtle, honey, lavender, ginger and lemon peel, plus the base spirit. Also, hops hang in a bag over it to extract the aromatics.

"The Little Creatures brewers have made a beer that is the benchmark for American-style pale ale, with slightly tropical and resin-y flavours, like Sierra Nevada, my fave US beer," said Mackenzie.

"In a way, this is the closest we've come to making a Jenever-style of gin. It's a dense canvas of resin-y juniper with deep brown spice notes. There's a chewy, malty hop character that hangs onto the macadamia nut and it's a touch fruity with bright citrus notes, too.

As well as buying Sticky Carpet Gin online for your gin shrine or getting it from Four Pillars in-person — it retails at $88 for a 700-millilitre bottle — it's on offer at The Winery in Surry Hills in Sydney; both The Regatta and Riverland in Brisbane; Yarra Botanica, The Espy (of course) and Garden State Hotel in Melbourne; and the Claremont in Perth.

The Espy is also hosting a free launch party on Wednesday, April 17 from 6pm, complete with free gin and tonics upon arrival. You'll need to nab a complimentary ticket to attend, however — and you'll catch live sets from Floodlights and Back Pocket as well.

For those knocking it back at home, Four Pillars recommends using Sticky Carpet Gin in a new twist on the G&T called Sticky and Tonic, in a boozy pink lemonade spider, with cordial, or as part of a lemon, lime and bitters sour.

Four Pillars Sticky Carpet Gin is available to purchase online, from Four Pillars in-person, and from select bars — head to the distillery's website for more details.

Published on March 15, 2024 by Sarah Ward
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x