Vintage Cellars

What the locals are loving: Patient Wolf Distilling Co.

In South Melbourne, just a quick walk from Southbank, gin lovers have a place they can gather and sip from the still.


Patient Wolf distillery, the creation of Dave Irwin and Matt Argus, is a star of Melbourne’s thriving craft distilling scene. At this impressive facility, a selection of gins are made then poured for guests.


Nothing was left to chance when Dave and Matt got into the gin business. They launched their first product, Melbourne Dry Gin, in 2016, but three years of research and planning took place first.


A few local players were already causing a stir, so there was an increasing interest in gin in Australia, but it also aligned with their own interests.


“With gin you can be unique,” says head distiller Dave. “As long as you have your key ingredients like juniper involved, there’s room to play and grow and to have a marketable angle, which is key for survival in any industry.”

At the cellar door

After outgrowing their original home in Brunswick, Dave and Matt needed a space where they could showcase their spirits.


“It’s a great new facility modelled on a New York style bar,” says Dave of the South Melbourne distillery. “There’s a huge brass bar, which I think is about 5 metres long, that complements the copper of the still that everybody can see.”


Guests can try a Patient Wolf gin tasting flight, join a masterclass about distilling or mixing spritzes, or simply order a cocktail or G&T and find a seat, either near the bar or in the outdoor area.

The Patient Wolf pack

Patient Wolf Melbourne Dry Gin is now sold right across the country. “We vapour infuse beautiful fresh citrus and use tonka beans, which gives it great viscosity,” explains Dave. “It is made to make a G&T, to make a Negroni. It does step away from London Dry Gin, but for me, juniper has to be involved.”


To meet an increasing demand, Patient Wolf also introduced Dry Gin & Tonic Cans.

“All the G&T cans I tasted were full of sugar and had a weird sherbet flavour,” says Dave. Using Long Rays Tonic, they created a refreshing RTD that tastes like a G&T mixed at a bar.

So far, it’s been picked up by Arts Centre Melbourne and Formula 1. “It’s a good way to get people to start thinking about drinking craft spirits and local products,” explains Dave. “And they’re great for our brand.”


Products featured are available from 06/03/23 to 11/04/23, while stocks last. Some products or varieties featured may not be available in all stores.