Vodka, Gin and Rum hand-made in Joburg

With a desire to cater for the more sophisticated spirit lover, the Johannesburg Distilling company was founded in 2016 and formally went into research and development in 2020.

The result of more than a year’s worth of dedicated experimentation shines in the distillery’s gin, vodka and much anticipated rum-based spirit range.

The distillery was founded by recovering journalist and digital agency head, Brett Haggard

Apart from his obvious love of storytelling, Brett has had a lifelong love affair with fine wine, craft beer and expertly distilled spirits. This passion has been poured into the attention to detail, nuance, balance and unwavering commitment to perfection that characterises the distillery’s products. His quest to break new ground in the spirits world, coupled with an excellent nose and palate, ensures that the distillery’s product roadmap is sound.

Brett’s business partner is industrial design and stainless-steel guru, Lionel Lurie.

Lionel is the design brain behind some of Johannesburg’s most striking bars, vertical gardens and custom installations. If you can dream it, Lionel can fabricate it. He brings a deep appreciation for aesthetic, bespoke design, practicality, process and flow to the business. Lionel performs best where form meets function and this is evidenced in the fine balance he’s created in the distillery’s primary production facility on Corlett Drive, Johannesburg.

Made from scratch in Joburg

Where most craft distillers simply buy neutral alcohol from a mass supplier and ‘finish’ it in their distillery, the Johannesburg Distilling Company stands apart from its competitors in that the vast majority of its spirits are built from scratch, using a foundation of high-grade molasses, water and a super-secret blend of French yeasts and nutrients.

Once it achieves a good alcohol strength, this fermentation is twice distilled, and then sometimes distilled once more to produce some of the smoothest, easy drinking spirits the market has had the opportunity to savour.

Our in-house molasses fermentation process isn't about cost savings. In fact, it's far more difficult and expensive than using bought-in neutral alcohol. When you taste our spirits however, you'll understand why we've made this choice. The most noticeable difference is mouthfeel which coats the palate and lingers well after the first sip. A subtle caramel, smokiness also permeates our spirits and places us in a category of our own.

Our current line-up features one vodka and two gins.

The coming months will see us releasing our much-anticipated aromatic bitters and spiced rum - Sugartax - made in the likeness of some of our favourite sipping rums – most notably from Venezuela and the Philippines.



The location

The Johannesburg Distilling Company’s creative identity takes its inspiration from minimalism – casting the spotlight on the contents of the bottle and not the multitude of potential distractions that surround it.

This is an ethos that follows through into the interior design aesthetic for our micro distillery at 102 Corlett Drive in Melrose.

Free of extraneous clutter and unneeded equipment, the distillery’s design strikes the perfect balance between the clinical practicality of stainless steel, the old-school warmth of copper, and the refreshing, uplifting nature of organic greenery.

The distillery feels part alchemy-lab, part production facility.

It is open on weekends – and Thursday late afternoons/evenings – for tastings and sales to members of the public.

If you’re a superfan or a member of the liquor trade, you’re welcome to make a special arrangement to visit during the week (just contact us a day or two before to arrange).