Raising the Bar

Trish Brew, Manager, Gin Palace.

Published: 28th November 2018

Our exclusive editorial feature series ‘Raising the Bar’ gets behind the bar and meets the head barmen and women at some of the world’s most respected, loved and admired bars in the world. With a focus on Scottish Gin, mixology and more, ‘Raising the Bar’ provides a fascinating and unique insight directly from the people who are at the forefront of global bar culture.

What’s your name and what do you do?

Trish Brew, I am the manager of the Gin Palace in Melbourne.

How did you get into the world of bartending?

It started as a part time gig, but the hospitality industry always has a way of pulling you in. It has allowed me to learn so much and meet so many wonderful people over the years.

What makes The Gin Palace unique?

The Gin Palace is an iconic bar in Melbourne, one of the first (if not the first) laneway cocktails bars in this wonderful city.

Scotland is famous for its Whisky but are there any Scottish Gins you’ve heard of that you would like to try?

I am very curious to try the Harris Gin made on the Isle of Harris in the outer Hebrides.

You serve an array of amazing cocktails and drinks but does your clientele have a favourite cocktail?

Of all the drinks I serve… people do really find it hard to pass on the King of Cocktails, the Martini… especially walking into a gin bar!

It currently feels like gin has never been more popular. Have you seen a gin renaissance over the last few years? 

Absolutely! The general clientele is becoming more educated on the drinks that they consume and can make better informed decisions on what they order. As such, we as an industry have to be able to keep up and deliver them a fulfilling experience when they step through those doors.

What’s the best part of your job?

Hearing a customer say they had a wonderful evening when they visit the bar… and, just cheekily, hearing them say I made them the best Martini they’ve ever had!

Are there any other bars on your tick list to visit?

Basically all of the other gin bars in the world!

Who are you bartending heroes?

Yao Wong of The Elysian Whisky Bar in Melbourne. He’s alright… and very handsome too.

What are the essential ingredients for running a successful bar?

Being able to keep the passion for your job and making sure the staff are well looked after is very important. When they have a good time at work, the customers automatically latch on to the vibe as well, and everyone has a great time! Happy customers = successful bar.

What Scottish Gins do you currently have behind your bar?

We actually carry quite a number of Scottish gins… about 13 from memory, from big guys like Hendrick’s all the way to small craft distillers like Thompson Bros Gin.

How important is provenance to you and does this influence the spirits brands that you keep behind the bar?

Provenance is quite important for me, especially being in Australia, which has become quite a powerhouse in championing gins that heavily rely on indigenous botanicals. The local craft gin scene has really taken off, especially in the last 4 years. An overwhelming majority of the distillers here are quite passionate about sourcing their botanicals as locally as possible, which gives us a wonderful platform to showcase to our clientele.

You can learn more about Gin Palace here.

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