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About Karu Distillery

Karu Distillery was established in 2017 by husband-and-wife team, Nick & Ally. With the dream of creating a unique Australian small-batch spirits range, they wanted to push the boundaries while holding focus on the art & science of distillation. Since Karu’s emergence onto the scene in late 2018 we have earned over 40 local and international awards, including the Trophy for World's Best Contemporary Gin at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in 2021.

We believe that quality, sustainability, and passion are the essential ingredients to creating world class spirits. To view our full range head to our Shop page.

Why Karu?

Karu is the Estonian word for bear. Bears hold a special place in our hearts with our distillers’ family heritage coming from Estonia. Bears spiritually stand from strength rather than speed, are fearless, and also symbolise introspection & intuition blended with instinct. It’s all these combined qualities that embody what drives the team at Karu Distillery. 

  • We are focusing on producing boutique craft products that have a strength of flavour and character rather than creating products in mass. 
  •  We are fearless in aiming to deliver the best and we take on any challenge presented to us.
  •  We have the introspection to look back with pride and humility to constantly improve.
  •  We follow our intuition and instinct when it comes to making the next leap with our products. 

 This is why we are Karu Distillery....


The Team

Head Distiller and Co-Owner
Ally Ayres from Karu Distillery holding Affinity Gin in front of their Copper Pot Still Calcifer
As head distiller and Co-Owner of Karu, Ally brings an almost obsessive passion to distillation. She has spent the last several years learning all she can about the science and art of distillation and, along with her husband Nick, can now boast over 35 awards for their gins.
Enjoys: Hula hooping, making pizza from scratch, video games, Sailor Moon, making rum, cooking and hangin' with Omen.
Favourite drink: Affinity Vesper Martini


Co-Owner, Operator, and Distiller
Nick Ayres from Karu Distillery

Nick is the Yang to Ally’s Yin. Coming from a film industry background in rigging, Nick is the driving force to get things done. You’ll usually find him on the phone to one of our botanical producers, whilst simultaneously emailing a bar about an upcoming event and inventing a new product idea at the same time. He is an absolute boss at multitasking and leading our team.
Enjoys: being the tallest person in the distillery, listening to NOFX, and travelling (pre-covid)
Social Media Guru
Social Media Guru Michelle from Karu Distillery

You’ll mostly find Michelle working on all things Social Media and website related, though she is whizz at labelling our gin bottles and G&Tea bags. You’ll also find her helping at market stalls and events.
Enjoys: walking her 2 dogs with her fiancé, binging Netflix, eating donuts, and randomly bursting into song.
Favourite drink: Amethyst G&Tea infused Affinity Gin, garnished with a sprig of rosemary.

Assistant to the Regional Manager 

Omen Ayres Karu Distillery Cat
Karu's familiar is the all-round most adorable member of the team. Omen is the one that keeps everyone at the distillery on their best behaviour.

Enjoys: snacks, gardening/ snoozing in the sunshine, and having a chat.

Favourite drink: Milk

Reflux Still
Karu Distillery's Reflux Still Ding  
Our 200L Reflux Still produces our award-winning Affinity & Lightning Gin. Affectionately named as he arrived with a huge ding in the back, Ding is put through his paces to keep up with the high demand of our gins.
Enjoys: Distilling gin, being shiny, and listening to the banter from the other Karu team members.
Favourite drink: A tie between Affinity, Lightning, and Barrel Aged Gin.

Copper Pot Still
Karu Distillery's Copper Pot Still Calcifer  

This 600L Australian-made Knapp Lewer Copper Pot Still is the heart and soul of the distillery. Named after the fire demon in Howls Moving Castle, he is currently producing copious amounts of delicious rum which is due for release in late 2021.
Enjoys: Distilling rum, getting cleaned by our head distiller Ally, and cool winter days so he can heat up the distillery.
Favourite drink: Karu Rum.

What’s Next?


After the success of their gins, the duo both had an affinity for yet another spirit, that spirit being rum.  We believe that all good things come to those who wait and with aged spirits, there is no exception. Our first rum is due to be released later this year.


Over the last few months, the research and development of Liqueurs have taken a step up with the intention of creating flavours with a unique and distinct twist to satisfy the sweet tooth in us all. 

Tasting Room

Our designated tasting room is now under construction and due to be open in the following months. Once completed you will be able to unwind with a few friends, cocktails, and food, whilst taking in the breathtaking views of the local mountains, surrounded by our native wildlife. If you are looking for a tasting, function, or just a great place to unwind, this will be your perfect destination.


Preserving Our Environment

We do what we can to reduce the impact on our environment as we believe that it’s our ongoing responsibility to give back and take care of this beautiful habitat that we are so lucky to be a part of. 

We always aim to get our products to you as safely as we can, with the smallest impact on nature as possible. 90% of the materials that we use to get our products to your door are sourced from recycled materials and are biodegradable so that we make sure we’re doing our part in running a sustainable business.

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