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Republic of Fremantle

Republic of Fremantle opened their distillery and bar in late 2020, taking over a vast warehouse on Pakenham Street.

By Nardia Plumridge

The warehouse is split in two, with large custom-built Müller copper stills imported from Germany taking centre stage in the distilling room where all base spirits are made from scratch.

Their grape-based gin and vodka use fruit from Oakover in the Swan Valley with three key labels on offer – Full Bodied Gin, Aromatic Gin, Signature Vodka – made from Verdelho grapes picked from 100-year-old vines. All three labels have won international accolades with notes of honeydew melon, citrus and subtle floral characters to gin, while Signature Vodka is twice distilled and made in small batches for a crisp and clean finish.

Master distiller Tom Hutchings was recently lured from Silent Pool Distillers in the UK to Fremantle to head up operations. "I thought I had the next few years planned with projects based in the UK, but after a couple of calls with the Republic of Fremantle Founders, it sounded too good of an opportunity to miss!" he tells Lost in Fremantle.

"As a country, Australia has a great reputation in the spirits industry for innovation. Without generations of tradition and regulation, there are plenty of distilleries pushing the boundaries but with great execution and quality products, as opposed to being gimmicky."

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While the back half of the warehouse is an impressive urban distillery, the front Bar + Kitchen has been turned into a chic, sleek venue with interiors designed by Fremantle-based architects Spaceagency. An Italian terrazzo bar lines one side of the room with a scattering of high-top tables and stools, made for perching cocktail in hand, filling out the rest of the room.

It’s here head cocktail maker Max Guidice shows off the house spirits with old school favourites like Martini and Negroni shaken beside twisted versions on popular tipples: Gin A Colada is a pina coladaesque concoction with gin, pineapple, coconut sorbet and raspberry. For the purist, the Republic Signature Tasting Flight offers a sample of the three flagship spirits, arriving with a selection of soda, tonics and garnishes to try neat or create your own signature serve. Pre-batched cocktails come in 750mL and 500mL bottles.

There is also a wine list leaning towards Australian labels, and a craft beer selection offers the non-spirit drinker plenty of options.

Food is bite-sized morsels of aperitivo style snacks using local produce design to match the mixology.

Head Chef Emily Jones has brought her passion for sustainable kitchen practices to the plate via a stint in Norway at 3-star Michelin restaurant, Maaemo. In the Republic of Fremantle Kitchen, all plates are made from scratch with seafood a feature: oysters, sardines, smoked roe (on a house-made crumpet with tomato, crème Fraiche and spring onion), and prawns (on brioche toast with a touch of remoulade). Or opt for a charcuterie or cheese plate.

"We have a very talented and passionate team throughout the whole business and the level of quality and creativity across the different departments. Nothing is simple, whether it's the cocktails at the bar or the menu in the kitchen. It's all about trying to elevate things beyond the expected," adds Tom.


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The Republic of Fremantle also offers Experiences with a gin tour and tasting and a gin school where you can distil your own bottle to your tasting to take home. Plus they have just announced their new Cocktail School. Grab your gang and head to a 1-hour masterclass, hosted by their expert bartenders, learn the art of cocktail making with tips and tricks to make perfectly balanced drinks at home. Thursday's and Saturday's. 

As for the future, Tom says, "We have some Eau de vie to age in barrels, almost aged enough to become Brandy. We are really keen to look outside of Vodka and Gin and see what else we can create. I am excited to have an opportunity to be part of the next wave of innovation at the Republic of Fremantle. Working with wine opens up a world of different flavour possibilities, so I can't wait to start experimenting. Plus, making everything from scratch will be a new challenge and one that I look forward to perfecting."

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Photo credit: Jess Wyld

Republic of Fremantle


Wednesday to Thursday 4pm to midnight

Friday to Sunday 12pm to midnight