Starward brand logo on dark background.

Starward Distillery & Bar

  • Australia
  • 2022 Distillery of the Year, Exceptional Performance in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition,
Phone Number
  • +61390054420
  • 50 Bertie St, Port Melbourne VIC 3207, Australia

Starward whiskey distillery interior with bottles on shelves.


History of Starward Distillery & Bar

Establishment and Founder

Starward Distillery & Bar, a notable name in the world of whisky, began its journey in Melbourne, Australia. It was founded by David Vitale, who embarked on a mission to create a distinct Australian whisky. Drawing inspiration from Melbourne’s foodie culture and his own Italian heritage, Vitale sought to craft a whisky that was both innovative and approachable.

Development and Distinct Approach

From its inception, Starward has been known for its unique approach to whisky making. The distillery utilises locally sourced ingredients, including Australian barley and wine barrels from renowned wineries for maturation. This practice imparts a distinctive flavour profile to their whiskies, which is characterised by a rich and fruity complexity.

Whisky Range

Starward offers a variety of whiskies, each with its own unique character. Key offerings include:

  • Starward Nova: Matured exclusively in red wine barrels, Nova exhibits a bright and fruity character.
  • Starward Solera: Aged in a Solera system, this whisky has a deeper, more complex profile.
  • Starward Two-Fold: A blend of wheat and malt whiskies, Two-Fold is approachable and versatile.

Innovations and Collaborations

The distillery is also known for its innovative limited editions and collaborations. These special releases often explore unique maturation techniques or unusual cask types, further showcasing Starward’s commitment to experimentation and creativity in whisky making.

Community and Environmental Commitment

Starward is not just about whisky; it has a strong commitment to community and sustainability. The distillery engages in various initiatives to reduce its environmental impact and supports local businesses and events, fostering a sense of community.

Starward Distillery & Bar stands as a testament to modern innovation in the traditional craft of whisky making. Through its unique approach, diverse range of products, and commitment to community and sustainability, it continues to carve a distinctive place in the world of spirits.

Awards Won by Starward Distillery & Bar

  1. Distillery of the Year:
    • Award: Most Awarded Distillery of the Year
    • Event: San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC), 2022
    • Significance: Triumphed over approximately 5,000 global distilleries, including renowned names like The Macallan, Glen Scotia, and Jack Daniel’s.
  2. Exceptional Performance in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition:
    • 12 Double Gold Medals
      • Criteria: Unanimous Gold medal rating by all judges.
      • Implication: Indicates a consistently high level of quality across various whisky offerings.
    • 3 Gold Medals
      • Recognition: Reflects superior quality.
      • Context: Adds to the tally of accolades contributing to the Distillery of the Year title.
  3. Global Recognition:
    • Insight: Starward’s youngest distillery to win such a prestigious award.
    • Comparison: Outperformed many distilleries with 30 to 100 years of history.
    • Impact: This achievement highlights Starward’s rapid rise to international acclaim and its capability to produce whiskies of exceptional quality.

Starward Distillery & Bar Tour Information and Experience

Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Tour

Embark on an enlightening journey with the Starward Distillery & Bar’s guided tour. This excursion takes you through the intricate whisky-making process, from the initial grain selection to the final spirit. You’ll gain an exclusive look into the production techniques that make Starward’s whisky so distinguished.

Interactive Whisky Development Tasting

Experience the evolution of whisky with an interactive tasting session. This part of the tour offers a unique opportunity to sample various stages of whisky development. It’s an insightful experience that enhances your understanding of the intricate craftsmanship involved in creating each bottle of Starward whisky.

Guided Tasting of Starward’s Finest

Delight in a curated tasting of three of Starward’s exceptional whiskies, including popular selections like Two-Fold, Nova, and Fortis. This guided tasting is a perfect way to experience the diverse and rich flavors that define Starward’s acclaimed whisky range.

Tour Duration and Pricing

This immersive tour lasts approximately one hour and is priced starting from AUD $60.00. It’s an investment in a memorable and educational experience, offering insights into the world of fine whisky production.

Commitment to Safety and Accessibility

Starward Distillery & Bar places a high priority on safety and accessibility. Visitors are required to wear closed-toe shoes for safety in production areas. Personal items such as mobile phones and large bags must be stored securely. The venue is fully accessible, featuring step-free entry and pathways that accommodate wheelchairs, ensuring a comfortable experience for all visitors.

Booking, Cancellation, and Weather Policy

Bookings are essential, and it’s recommended to arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled time. While refunds or exchanges for tours are not available, you can reschedule up to 24 hours before the event. In extreme weather conditions, particularly high temperatures, the distillery may reschedule tours to ensure the safety of all guests and staff.

Age Requirement and Companion Card Policy

The tour is an adult-only experience, open to individuals aged 18 and over. Starward also honors the Companion Card, allowing cardholders to bring along a companion without additional cost.

Flask & Barrel Review of Starward Distillery & Bar

It’s not your traditional distillery; it has a modern, almost avant-garde feel to it, which makes it stand out.

The tour itself was an absolute treat. Having been on many tours, I must say, the behind-the-scenes look at Starward was both informative and engaging. Seeing the transformation from grain to spirit was fascinating, especially with their unique approach to using Australian red wine barrels for ageing. It added a new perspective compared to my other distillery visits.

The interactive tasting session was another high point. Tasting the raw product and understanding the different stages of whisky development was insightful. It’s not every day you get to experience the evolution of whisky’s flavor profile so intimately.

The guided tasting of Starward’s whiskies, including Two-Fold, Nova, and Fortis, was a journey through diverse flavors. Each had its unique character, and being a collector, I appreciated the nuances they brought to the table.

On the practical side, the tour lasted just the right amount of time, around 60 minutes, and the pricing seemed fair at AUD $60.00. Their attention to safety and accessibility was commendable, and it’s great to see a distillery ensuring comfort and safety for all visitors.

If I had to point out a downside, it would be the strict booking and cancellation policy, but that’s understandable given the logistics involved. Also, while the tour was excellent, I’ve been on a few that offered a slightly more in-depth dive into the production process.

In conclusion, Starward Distillery & Bar offers an exceptional tour experience that stands out in its modern approach and unique tasting sessions. It’s a must-visit for whisky enthusiasts and collectors like myself, looking for something different from the traditional distillery tour. The urban setting, combined with their innovative whisky-making process, makes for a memorable experience. I’d definitely recommend it to fellow whisky aficionados.

What To Do Nearby Starward Distillery & Bar

Colonial Brewing Co: Just a short distance away, this brewery offers a great alternative for those looking to explore beyond whisky. Enjoy their range of craft beers in a relaxed setting.

Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre: For sports enthusiasts, this nearby complex provides facilities for swimming, squash, and other sports activities. It’s a great place to unwind or get active after a distillery visit.

South Melbourne Market: A must-visit for food lovers, this market is famed for its fresh produce, gourmet foods, and vibrant atmosphere. It’s a short drive from the distillery and perfect for grabbing a bite or shopping for local products.

Port Melbourne Beach: If you’re looking to relax by the sea, this beach is a nearby option. It’s ideal for a leisurely walk or a refreshing swim.

Gasworks Arts Park: This arts and community hub, not far from the distillery, hosts a range of performances, workshops, and exhibitions, perfect for those interested in the local arts scene.

Scienceworks: A bit further away, this interactive museum is great for families or anyone interested in science and technology. It offers hands-on exhibits and a planetarium.

Melbourne CBD: For a more urban experience, the central business district, with its plethora of shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions, is just a short drive away.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Starward Distillery & Bar?

De Gusto: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +61396022774. Their address is 768B Bourke St, Docklands VIC 3008, Australia.

Third Wave Cafe: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +61396762399. Their address is 181 Victoria Ave, Albert Park VIC 3206, Australia.

Bay 101: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +61396466088. Their address is 7/101 Bay St, Port Melbourne VIC 3207, Australia.

What hotels are near Starward Distillery & Bar?

Crowne Plaza Melbourne, an IHG Hotel: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +61396482777. Their address is 1/5 Spencer St, Melbourne VIC 3008, Australia.

InterContinental Melbourne, an IHG Hotel: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +61386271400. Their address is 495 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia.

AC Hotel by Marriott Melbourne Southbank: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +61391210000. Their address is 201 Normanby Rd, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia.