You, Me & Friends “Favourite Tastes” ***National Distillery Company-Napier***

One of our favourite activities on Day 4 of our Art Deco24 tour was a Gin Tasting experience at the heritage-listed “National Distillery Company” building, a gem from the 1930s previously known as the National Tobacco Company. Founder Blair Nicholl led us through the company’s rich history, from humble kitchen beginnings to international acclaim. Sampling four gins, including a groundbreaking hemp-seed variation, showcased their commitment to innovation.

Based in Napier, New Zealand, the distillery prides itself on crafting gin, vodka, rum, and whisky with state-of-the-art copper stills. They meticulously source top-quality ingredients from New Zealand and beyond, hand-selecting and blending to tell unique stories through their spirits. Opening their doors to the public allowed us to delve into their process and products firsthand.

The stroke of luck in securing the iconic National Tobacco Company building for their operations was serendipitous. Renamed the National Distillery Company, it became the perfect setting for their vision: to produce premium, modern spirits tailored to the discerning drinker. Their creations aimed to elevate the humble G&T into an experience to be savoured with friends, blending craftsmanship with creativity.

Driven by their background in hospitality, Blair and Ricardo understood that exceptional beverages are more than just drinks—they’re stories. From ingredients to process, place, and people, each element intertwines to create something truly remarkable. The National Distillery Company exemplifies this ethos, offering a taste of New Zealand’s finest spirits with every sip.

The National Distillery Company Limited

Oh my gosh, we all had a fantastic day out. Thank you so much. I really didn’t expect to like all those weird and wonderful snacks during the "Curious Food Train" activity, and didn’t think they would all participate. The staff all keep thanking us for such a great day. Looking forward to next years event!