National Distillery Company logo in black and white.

The National Distillery Company Limited

  • New Zealand
  • USA Spirits Ratings 2021 -“Verdigris” Gin: Gold Medal (91 Points), New Zealand Spirits Awards, London Spirits Competition 2021:
Phone Number
  • +6468337317
  • 1 Ossian Street, Ahuriri, Napier 4110, New Zealand

Art deco entrance of National Distillery Company building.

History of The National Distillery Company Limited


Founding and Vision

The National Distillery Company Limited (NDC) was founded by two friends, Blair and Ricardo, imbued with a passion for crafting the finest New Zealand spirits. Their journey in the hospitality industry, particularly in bartending, fueled their ambition to create premium, modern spirits. These spirits were not just beverages; they were stories about their ingredients, process, place, and the people behind them. Blair and Ricardo aimed to cater to a new school of drinkers, those who appreciate a higher quality New Zealand drop that is both sippable and shareable.

The Birth of NDC

The inception of NDC was marked by serendipity when a space in Napier, a seaside town on New Zealand’s East Coast, became available. This space, formerly known as the National Tobacco Company Ltd, is the epitome of modernist architecture in New Zealand. It represented the perfect place for the birth of NDC, aligning with the founders’ vision of reinvigorating modern spirits.

Product Range and Distillation Process

Based in their headquarters in Napier, NDC specializes in distilling a range of spirits including gin, vodka, rum, and whisky. Their state-of-the-art copper stills play a pivotal role in their production. The company prides itself on sourcing the highest quality ingredients locally and globally, meticulously hand-selecting and blending them to create spirits that narrate their unique stories.

The National Distillery Company Limited stands as a testament to the fusion of traditional craft and modern innovation, rooted in the rich heritage of New Zealand’s spirit-making and driven by a vision to create something exceptional for the contemporary palate.

Awards Won by The National Distillery Company Limited

USA Spirits Ratings 2021:

  • “Verdigris” Gin: Gold Medal (91 Points)
  • “Old Navy” Gin: Silver Medal (87 Points)
  • “Hemp” Gin: Silver Medal (80 Points)
  • “NZ Native ‘The Proof'” Gin: 78 Points

New Zealand Spirits Awards:

  • “Port O Ahuriri Golden Rum”: Best New Zealand Rum in Category

London Spirits Competition 2021:

  • “Adorn” Gin: Silver Medal (87 Points)
  • “Verdigris” Gin: Silver Medal (85 Points)
  • “Aquifer” Vodka: Silver Medal (85 Points)
  • “New Zealand Native” Gin: Silver Medal (85 Points)
  • “Hemp Gin”: Silver Medal (78 Points)

London Spirits Competition 2022:

  • “New Zealand Dry Gin”: Gold Medal (91 Points)
  • “Hemp” Gin: Gold Medal, Best In Show By Country (91 Points)
  • “Navy Strength Gin”: Silver Medal (85 Points)
  • “New Zealand Native Gin”: Silver Medal (84 Points)

The National Distillery Company has also received other international awards, indicating their global reputation in the spirits industry.

The National Distillery Company Limited Tour Information and Experience

The National Distillery Company Limited, located in the historic art nouveau 1930s building in Ahuriri, Napier, offers a unique tour experience that combines modern distilling techniques with time-honoured traditions. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect:


Upon arrival, you’re greeted with a gin & tonic, setting the stage for an immersive experience. The architectural gem distillery is the perfect setting for tasting their handcrafted selection of copper-distilled New Zealand gin, vodka, rum, and whisky.

Masterclass Experience

The tour includes a hands-on masterclass where you get to make three cocktails yourself. This interactive session is a highlight, offering insights into cocktail making and spirit blending. Tasty shared platters are also provided, adding to the overall enjoyment.

Location and Ambiance

The distillery’s location in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand’s wine country, adds to the charm. The building itself is a testament to the blend of historic and modern influences, enhancing the overall tour experience.

To Sum It Up!

The National Distillery Company’s dedication to producing fine spirits is evident throughout the tour. From the initial welcome to the detailed masterclass and the tasting of their diverse range, visitors get a comprehensive look into the world of distilling.

This tour is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in spirits, distilling processes, or simply looking for a unique experience in a historical setting. Keep in mind that the masterclasses are popular and tend to sell out quickly, so it’s advisable to book in advance​

Flask & Barrel Review of The National Distillery Company Limited

As a seasoned whiskey collector who’s seen my fair share of distilleries, I can confidently say these folks know their craft.

First off, the ambiance of the place hits you the moment you step in. It’s got this perfect blend of modern flair and classic charm that sets the stage for an unforgettable experience. The staff were super friendly and knowledgeable, making me feel right at home. They’re passionate about what they do, and it shows.

Now, let’s talk whiskey. Their selection was impressive, with each variety having its unique character and depth. The tasting session was a journey through different flavor profiles, from smooth and mellow to rich and complex. It’s clear they put a lot of thought and expertise into their distilling process.

I also got to explore some of their other spirits, and I was pleasantly surprised. The gins had this refreshing and distinctive taste – a nice break from my usual whiskey routine.

If I had to nitpick, I’d say the tour felt a bit rushed. I would’ve loved to dive deeper into their production process and maybe get a peek behind the scenes. But hey, that’s just me being a curious cat.

What To Do Nearby The National Distillery Company Limited

Otatara Pa Historical Reserve: This is a significant Maori pa site in Hawkes Bay, offering an excellent and peaceful hike with panoramic coastal views. It’s a 10-minute drive from central Napier and provides a great opportunity to learn about traditional Maori life.

Visit Hastings: Just a 15-minute drive from Napier, Hastings is perfect for a day trip. Here, you can enjoy excellent cuisine, shop in boutique stores, and admire Art Deco buildings. Hastings is less touristy than Napier, offering a more serene experience.

Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market: One of the oldest and largest farmers’ markets in New Zealand, this market is a great place to explore local produce and crafts. The Napier Urban Farmers’ Market is held on Saturdays in Clive Square, and the larger Hastings Farmers’ Market is on Sundays.

Marine Parade: This famous seaside path in Napier offers a range of attractions like sunken gardens, the Pania of the Reef statue, and mini-golf. It’s a great place to relax, enjoy an ice cream, and soak in the coastal atmosphere.

Wine Tasting: The Hawke’s Bay region is known for its vineyards and wineries. You can enjoy wine tasting at various locations like Brookfields Vineyards, Mission Estate Winery, and Church Road Winery, among others.

Biking Around Napier: With 200km of flat, easy-riding trails, biking is a fantastic way to explore the region. The Hawke’s Bay Trails connect wineries, cafés, and artisan outlets, offering a unique outdoor experience.

Art Deco Architecture: Napier is renowned for its Art Deco buildings, rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake. Notable buildings include the Art Deco Masonic Hotel and the Daily Telegraph Building.

Napier Prison: For a unique experience, visit the old Napier Prison. It offers self-guided tours where you can learn about its history and even get a mugshot snapped.

MTG Hawke’s Bay: This museum, theatre, and gallery is the cultural hub of Napier, showcasing Maori artefacts, local collections, and exhibitions on the region’s history, including the 1931 earthquake.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near The National Distillery Company Limited?

Milk & Honey Restaurant: It has a rating of 4.0 stars on Google Maps. For more information, contact them at +6468336099. the address is 10 Hardinge Road, Ahuriri, Napier 4110, New Zealand.

Ahuriri Village Kitchen: This restaurant has a 4.5 star rating on Google Maps. Their contact number is +6468358950, and their address is 6/15 Hardinge Road, Ahuriri, Napier 4110, New Zealand.

The Thirsty Whale Bar & Restaurant: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. To make reservations or inquiries, contact them at +6468358815 and their address is 62 West Quay, Ahuriri, Napier 4110, New Zealand.

What hotels are near The National Distillery Company Limited?

Harbour View Lodge: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, the contact number is +6468358077 and the address is 60 Nelson Quay, Ahuriri, Napier 4110, New Zealand.

Quest Napier: This hotel boasts a 4.3 star rating on Google Maps. To contact them call at +6468335325 and their address 176 Dickens Street, Napier South, Napier 4110, New Zealand.

The Crown Hotel: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. For booking and inquiries, contact them at +6468338300 and address is 22A Waghorne Street, Ahuriri, Napier 4144, New Zealand.