A few short months ago, permanent food-truck depot Welcome to Bowen Hills opened off King Street to acclaim. Punters that could tear their gaze away from the array of street eats for a brief moment were often heard enquiring about what would occupy the intriguing empty tenancy next door. The answer is Swill – a moody-yet-spacious gin bar that occupies the far portion of the former cattle shed opposite the Royal Snack Bar. Operating as a night-time haunt, the newly minted bar boasts a subdued but tasteful aesthetic designed by Alexander Lotersztain’s Derlot – a perfect roost for night owls and intimate rendezvous. A vivid colour juxtaposition of the deep blue walls and orange seating against concrete offers a bold contrast enhanced by strip lighting and candelabras, while a casual outdoor space offers a breezy respite from the bustling commotion of the neighbouring street-food strip.
While Swill offers up a curated edit of craft and imported beers, wines and spirits sure to satisfy all drinkers, it’s the gin lovers that will really be spoiled for choice. As of opening, Swill boasts more than 120 gins, with a strong representation of Australia’s best and some foreign names that will pique the interest of seasoned sippers. Rising Australian distilleries such as Animus, Patient Wolf, Queensland’s own Mt Uncle and recent San Francisco World Spirit Competition gold medallist Brookie’s Gin feature. As for the international contingent, the likes of The London Distillery Company’s Kew Organic, Death’s Door from the United States and Hernö from Sweden are stellar choices. An ever-evolving selection of gin-based cocktails and cocktail jugs are available, as is a choice list of gin spritzes. Those that are simply satisfied by a gin and tonic will still have the option of sprucing up their concoction. Pick a gin and browse the incredible selection of tonics and garnishes, and you’re unlikely to be satisfied with a house pour and lime ever again. Swill stocks tonics and mixers from Phoenix, Fever Tree and Strange Love, topped with garnishes such as grapefruit, finger lime, chilli, mango wedges, orange slices and rosemary.
Swill opens to the public tonight. Head to the Stumble Guide for more information.