The Story of 5 Mile Distilling

Our Story

Where are we?

We are located in Taupō in the heart of the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand, a town situated on the shores of the stunning Lake Taupō and the rim of the Taupō Volcano, one of the world's largest supervolcanos. This breathtaking natural setting provides the perfect backdrop for our distillery.

5 Mile Bay Taupo Looking south towards Tongariro National Park.
In the Beginning

The journey for 5 Mile Distilling began when our founder Scott Forsythe stumbled upon a YouTube video on distilling in April 2020 (the first lockdown), which ignited his imagination and inspired him. He spent many months researching the art of distilling after discovering that New Zealand is one of the few places in the world where home distillation is legal.

In November 2020, Scott purchased his first still and began experimenting with innovative techniques and natural ingredients to create exceptional spirits. He was dedicated to using only the finest ingredients and crafting unique flavor profiles that would be unforgettable. After many hours of experimentation and tasting, Scott perfected his gin recipe.

How hard could it be?

In November 2021, Scott thought it was a gin worth sharing and looked at commercialising his home distillery. After all, how hard could that be? And so began the process of applying and obtaining the necessary licenses and approvals. The final license was received in April 2022, which is when 5 Mile Distilling was officially born. The recipe become 5 Mile Gin. 5 Mile is in reference to the stunning 5 Mile Bay, just south of Taupō town, where many a summer afternoon has been spent with family and friends on the beach drinking G&Ts.

Was it any good?

So we had 5 Mile Gin and we liked it. But would anyone else? The day the final licence was recevied a bottle was sent off to the prestigious NZ Spirits Awards (this was 2 days before entries closed) solely to get the judges feedback.

To his surprise, 5 Mile Gin not only won a gold medal but was also named "Best Overall in Category - Gin London Dry," a significant achievement for a brand-new distillery.

So Where to now?

We have lots of ideas. but we can't do everything at once.

We are working our way around the country to get 5 Mile Gin into more restaurants, bars, and bottle stores.

The original logos and label designs were done by Scott and served a purpose to get us started. We are in the process of rebranding. Watch this space.

We are working on more gin flavours. A Navy gin with NZ Giant Kelp as a botanical. A Native gin with manuka, horopito, and kawakawa as botanicals. And a Berry gin with Raspberries and Blackberries as botanicals.

And the big one. Build a bigger distillery with a cellar door, tastings, and tours.