Cumulus designs whisky distillery on site of former flour mill

Cumulus’s Hobart studio has designed Tasmania’s newest whisky distillery on the site of a 19th-century flour mill.

The Oatlands location was formerly the site of an illegal distillery, built and owned by publican John Vincent in 1837, who milled grain and produced bootleg whisky on the premises.

Located just north of Kempton in an historic town in the state’s Heartland regions, the Oatlands mill precinct reopened in 2010 as part of a restoration project, consisting of the six-storey Lincolnshire tower mill, the piggery and barn, the grainary, and the miller’s hut.

The new facility took two years to design and construct, adapting the 1830s flour mill to house a state of the art hub for whisky making. Founder and former property developer John Ibrahim’s vision for the distillery was inspired by the heritage buildings onsite, resulting in a respectful silhouette that acknowledges the site’s heritage as one of the oldest Georgian settlements in Australia. This was not Ibrahim’s first foray in whisky distilleries: he previously purchased Dysart House in Kempton in, which came to house Redlands Distillery in 2012, now the Old Kempton Distillery.

The Callington Mill and Distillery, designed by Cumulus.


Adam Gibson

The material palette of the new facility was influenced by the local heritage code requirements for masonry cladding, referencing the area’s preserved Georgian sandstone edifices. “The predominant brick has a soft and chalky patina that references the sandstone of the surrounding buildings,” a spokesperson for Cumulus said.

The gabled form of the new distillery is also derived from historical precedents, resembling the simple forms of rural sheds quintessential to the area. “The design navigates the need to house the industrial manufacturing requirements of a working whisky distillery while providing the immersive visitor experience of a traditional cellar door,” Cumulus said.

The interiors have been designed to reference the rich tones of the grain spirit, incorporating Tasmanian oak joinery, brass fittings, low lighting, and amber-hued marble finishes.

The Callington Mill and Distillery officially opened in October 2022 and is now the biggest whisky distillery in Tasmania to date. Ibrahim said the new distillery will help to put Tasmanian single-malt whisky on the world map, harnessing Tasmanian’s clean air, water, and premium local barley with a modern facility that can keep up with international demand.

Tasmanian premier Jeremy Rockliff said the Callington Mill and Distillery is one of the “best-known landmarks of Oatlands” and investment is already providing valuable employment opportunities and a tourist destination for the region.

Source: Architecture - architectureau

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