Wollongong's Headlands Distilling Company could soon serve Seacliff Vodka drinks

Next step: Headland Distilling Company owners Lachlan Hingley, Dean Martelozzo and Jared Smith are hoping to sell their vodka on site. Picture: Robert Peet
Next step: Headland Distilling Company owners Lachlan Hingley, Dean Martelozzo and Jared Smith are hoping to sell their vodka on site. Picture: Robert Peet

The four mates behind Wollongong's first vodka distillery could not only soon be making the alcohol at Headlands Distilling Company -  but serving it too.

Dean Martelozzo, Jared Smith, Lachlan Hingley and Thomas Simnadis want customers to taste their Seacliff Vodka and drink a glass or two at their distillery in Ralph Black Drive.

The owners have applied to modify their development application and are seeking drink-on premises authorisation, which if approved, will allow them to sell drinks rather than just offering tastings.

"We want our customers to be able to come to the distillery, see our equipment, hear how the spirits are made and enjoy a drink while they do so," Mr Martelozzo said.

Seacliff Vodka from Headlands Distilling Co.

Seacliff Vodka from Headlands Distilling Co.

"Bringing customers into the distillery for a complete tour helps to demonstrate our grain-to-glass philosophy in action.

"We want them to see how we start with raw grains, mill them, ferment them, distill alcohol and ultimately bottle the final product - all in-house.

"We felt that this was the right moment to open our doors to the public."

Customers will also be able to eat from antipasto style platters with cheese, cured meat and bread.

"Where possible, we source our products locally to keep food miles to a minimum and help to showcase the quality of local, artisan producers," Mr Martelozzo said. 

The owners, including Dean Martelozzo have a Wollongong focus from using the harbour as the design for the bottles and they source ingredients from local producers. Picture: Robert Peet

The owners, including Dean Martelozzo have a Wollongong focus from using the harbour as the design for the bottles and they source ingredients from local producers. Picture: Robert Peet

"We want the distillery to be a place where you can catch up with friends and families for a drink and snack.

"From the hand-built wooden bar to the sleek stainless steel tanks, we see the distillery fusing craftsmanship with cutting edge innovation.

"The four of us recognise that alcohol production is steeped in history, but we want to be constantly moving the field forward with new ideas and new products."

Mr Martelozzo said the owners were in the process of crafting a gin but it was not quite perfect yet.

"We’ve been particularly discerning in our choice of botanicals and have focused our attention on using native plants," he said.

"We also have a whisky under development, but unlike the vodka and gin, the lead time is much longer as we need to age the alcohol in wooden barrels."

The distillery opened in December and Seacliff Vodka started appearing at markets late last year.

Taste test: Jared Smith, Lachlan Hingley and Dean Martelozzo opened Headlands Distilling Co in January. Picture: Robert Peet

Taste test: Jared Smith, Lachlan Hingley and Dean Martelozzo opened Headlands Distilling Co in January. Picture: Robert Peet

The idea for starting their own vodka distillery came in 2015 when the mates realised they could combine their capabilities and skills and create a great spirit.

They have a Wollongong focus from using the harbour as the design for the bottles and they source ingredients from local producers.

"We’ve been absolutely blown away with the response to us opening Wollongong's first distillery and have had a steady stream of orders since launching Seacliff Vodka," Mr Martelozzo said.

"People, even those that aren’t vodka fans, rave about the taste and have been back to buy more."

He said more vendors in the region had agreed to stock the vodka and the owners have continued to sell their product at markets.

The distillery is open Fridays 4pm-7pm Friday and 12pm-4pm for tasting and to see the equipment/process.

For more information visit the Headlands Distilling Co website.

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