Some things are designed to confuse. For instance… Hellyers Road Distillery should be found in Hellyers Road somewhere, right? Well, no actually. It’s to be found at 153 Old Surrey Road in Burnie in north west Tasmania.
Not Hellyers Road; Old Surrey Road
If I had more spare time, and a stronger inclination, I might do a little research and maybe learn the reason why Hellyers Road Distillery is named such. But I’m shrewd enough to assume one of our regular readers will probably already be well-versed in the subject and will be kind enough to just tell me! Carol Haberle mentioned a Henry Hellyer in her article about the Vale of Belvoir… maybe that man is connected somehow? Regardless of the street name, what you’ll find at 153 Old Surrey Road in Burnie is very impressive.
I’m disinclined to write about things I know little about. Whisky is one of those things (and I’ll freely admit it’s amongst many, many others). Roger Findlay has written a trio of articles about Tasmanian whisky for Think Tasmania, so for those of you interested in such things, please drop by those three! And of course Michelle Kneipp Pegler has already written a lovely article about Hellyers Road Distillery and her “Whisky Walk” tour.
Hellyers Road Distillery… What Do You Know Then?
Okay, so that’s quite enough about things I don’t know. You must be wondering why I’m even writing this article at all. We were inspired to seek out the interpretive centre (no matter where it was) after meeting Mark Littler through our involvement with Tennis Tasmania. Mark is the Head Distiller and General Manager of Hellyers, and he’s a very nice bloke!
So we have actually been to Hellyers Road Distillery for a visit, and the food and beverage experience was first-rate. Enough to make me want to share my thoughts with you. The lovely building houses a very nice restaurant with a terrific outlook over the Emu Valley region. The service was prompt, efficient and friendly and the menu offered a variety of interesting selections using fresh, Tasmanian produce.
We arrived for a very late lunch, and no-one seemed fussed that we were between regular service times; neither lunch nor dinner. We’d spent much of the day at the Emu Valley Rhododendron Gardens followed by a trip to Guide Falls, both popular Tasmanian attractions a little further south of Burnie. Gavin was looking rather bedraggled after taking an impromptu dip at Guide Falls Reserve. The staff were way to polite to question his appearance; but the kids and I got quite a bit of mileage when ordering the platter of “dips”.
As we all know, some restaurants are a bit prone to vary in standard from one visit to the next. Because it’s been such a long time since our own visit, I’ve enlisted our team-member and local expert for special comments. Carol Haberle dined with husband Kev at Hellyers Road Distillery recently, along with daughter Ange, son-in-law Nathan and two of her gorgeous grand-daughters. I was hoping she would confirm the dining experience was still just as good. She did.
Had an absolutely beautiful lunch at Hellyers Road Tania, couldn’t fault it! One little point (AND I so wish I’d taken the camera!!!), they so deserve credit for the kids meal on the menu for littlies. Ange and Nathan have a two year old and a three year old, I imagine you too have memories of trying to eat out with this age group and how hard it is to find a place that serves anything other than the nuggets and chips style meal. When the kids meal from the menu was served it consisted of two chicken sandwiches; an assortment of fruit, strawberries, grapes, cantaloupe, apple and dried apricots PLUS a small bowl of smarties and lolly snakes! The kids were rapt to say the least Tania! Any place that actually puts in a concerted effort towards catering for children wins my approval, and we all enjoyed a much relaxed time knowing the kids were happy! ~ Carol Haberle
Whisky, Tours, Lunch and Gifts
Besides the tour and the restaurant, Hellyers Road also has a well-stocked gift shop. Some of the items looked so pretty they were almost enough to tempt a whisky novice. I loved the pre-wrapped gifts… all set to take home and present to the neighbour as a thank-you for minding the dog while you enjoyed your Tasmanian holiday.
Once upon a time, visitors could enjoy a tasting session at the cheese factory next door to Hellyers Road Distillery. The cheese has been moved to the Makers Workshop these days, possibly while the Old Surrey Road building is undergoing a renovation (or maybe I just dreamed that bit?). If you can’t get to Burnie to sample the whisky, watch out for stalls at events around Tasmania, including Agfest, Festivale and Taste the Harvest.
For more information visit the Hellyers Road Distillery website, contact Hellyers Road Distillery by email or phone (03) 6433 0439. You can also follow Hellyers Road Distillery on Facebook. Thanks to the rest of the great team at Think Tasmania for their contributions to this topic.
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