Blue Mountain Stories - Jann and Harry Dillon, gin distillers

Jann and Harry Dillon, gin distillers

Jann and Harry Dillon, gin distillers


The Blue Mountains Gin Company is the only gin maker in the Blue Mountains. Launched in mid-2021, it is already winning prizes and loyal customers. We spoke with owners Jann and Harry Dillon.


Michael: Gin has become very popular in recent years, hasn’t it?

Harry: Australians are drinking a bit less alcohol, but they’re drinking more gin. Gin used to have an old-fashioned image but is now very much back in fashion. There’s a great interest in small, craft-based distillers around the country. It’s part of the growing enthusiasm for local food and alcohol.

Jann: There’s been a move away from vodka and pre-mixed drinks to something more adventurous. Young people are prepared to spend a bit more money on an interesting experience.


Michael: So why did you become gin distillers?

Jann: We like gin and we also like the creativity of coming up with new flavours. We’ve lived in the Blue Mountains for 30 years and thought it deserved its own gins, that’s why we chose the Mountain Devil logo. It’s based on a small devil doll one of our children made in primary school.

Harry: We bought a small, hobby still from a brew shop and spent a few years mucking around with it and trying different flavours. It’s a bit like painting, you need to get the balance of elements just right. We did a course on distilling at a university and worked as interns in an established Melbourne distillery. It’s been a big experience for us - first there’s the technical and creative side, then there’s all the business side. We’d never run a business before.


Blue Mountain Stories - Jann and Harry Dillon, gin distillers


Michael: What was your first gin?

Jann: It’s our version of the classic London dry gin, although we include an Australian botanical, lemon myrtle. You need a classic dry in your range, it’s still the most popular gin. Our next one was more contemporary, it’s called Black Label. I was inspired by chocolate with chilli: there’s no chocolate in the gin, but it has a strong bite due to black peppercorns, native pepper berry and an infusion of fresh chilli. Those two have won prizes - for more information check our website.  We’ve also released a few more lines now - a colour-changing gin, a navy strength gin and a vodka.


Michael: So how’s the business going?

Jann: The reception from retailers and bars up here has been wonderful. Likewise with customers when we do tastings. People want something that’s developed, distilled and bottled totally in the Blue Mountains - even our labels are made by a printer in Springwood! We’re in most of the retailers up here now.


Michael: What about outside the Mountains?

Jann: We’ve just got into some big outlets in Sydney. Gin is so popular, some stores have whole sections devoted to Australian gin.

Harry: The next step is to expand in a way that’s manageable. It’s great to be successful, but there’s only the two of us at the moment and everything is hand-made in craft distillery style.


Michael: Changing the subject, what places do you like to go to in the Mountains, when you’re not distilling gin?

Harry: We have a lookout just down the bottom of our street, with a wonderful view across the Megalong Valley to Wild Dog Mountains. Tourists tend to visit a small number of lookouts, but of course there are hundreds of great vantage points across the Mountains. This one is usually deserted – it’s like our private place.

Jann: The family goes canyoning too. We try to explore one new canyon each year with our children.


Michael: Favourite walk?

Jann: I like the one to Lockleys Pylon from Mount Hay Road, near Leura. The view of the Grose Valley is amazing.


For more information on Harry and Jann’s range of gins, check out their website:, or talk to your local bottleshop.


Blue Mountain Stories - Jann and Harry Dillon, gin distillers


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