Local Spirits, the new Canberra tour exploring spirits of the liquor variety

Jil Hogan
Ben Osborne is a 20-year-old who discovered a love for distilling and spirits.
Ben Osborne is a 20-year-old who discovered a love for distilling and spirits.  Photo: Jamila Toderas

You may have been on a tour visiting Canberra's spirits that haunt some of the city's older building, but what about the spirits of the less creepy variety?

Local Spirit is a new distillery tour, showing off the Canberra's emerging spirits industry. 

The company is the brainchild of Ben Osborne, a 20-year-old Canberra entrepreneur who says he wanted to own a bar, "probably since I was in year seven", before he was even quite sure what one was.

"It was just the social atmosphere and the idea of having fun with friends that was always so appealing to me," he says.

"Because whenever my family get together they have food, drinks, catching up, good times, good laughs and I just always loved that and always wanted to have that family friendly feel."

After school, he got his first bar job at Akiba, which is where his passion for spirits sparked. From there, he worked at a number of other bars in Civic, before moving to Sydney to work in Four Seasons Hotel's whisky bar.

When his contract was up, Osborne took the opportunity to visit Tasmania to learn the craft himself, completing a distillation course, and testing out all of the whisky tours in town along the way.

Once back home in Canberra, Osborne was impressed with what was on offer locally and approached the Canberra distilleries with the idea of the tour.

The tours start with a burger and drink at Grease Monkey in Braddon, before the group boards a Mercedes-Benz van which heads to Underground Spirits in Kambah for a master class and tastings.

Then it's onto the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre at Regatta Point to taste through The Canberra Distillery's range, followed by further tasting and master class at Baldwin Distilling Company in Mitchell. Finally, the tour stops at White Rabbit in Civic for some cocktails, and a lesson on how to use spirits at home.

Tours are $220, and run Saturday and Sunday from 1pm, for a maximum of seven people. Bookings at localspirit.com.au.