In what might be the world’s smallest commercial distillery, perched on the side of Moonshine Valley, in suburban Upper Hutt, north of Wellington, NZ, small batches of the finest gin are quietly being crafted.

After 30 years of home distilling and perfecting the craft of making gin that family and friends could not get enough of, Ruin Distillery was born.

The distillery is a mere 4 metres square in size, but there is some fine alchemy happening in that small space.

The finest gin makers typically make their own spirit and at Ruin, we make ours from scratch. 

Our grain neutral spirit is fermented with the finest ingredients, including a champagne yeast.  It is temperature controlled and constantly monitored at every step.  

This pure and very smooth spirit is double distilled and single shot vapour infused.   Inspired by our beautiful Upper Hutt backyard, we have created two distinctive gins.

The Classic1689 (awarded Silver at the 2023 NZ Spirits Awards) is our expression of the original gin recipe with a crisp, clear juniper and citrus profile, and a subtle hint of spice.

The Valley, (awarded Bronze at the 2023 NZ Spirits Awards) is a classic dry gin with a botanical profile that includes lemon and orange zest, black pepper and licorice, infused with kawakawa and wild fennel foraged locally from the banks of Te Awa Kairangi. 

The Courage, (awarded Bronze at the 2022 and 2023  NZ Spirits Awards) pays homage to the Ruin family's long and proud military history.  The botanical profile of this bold and brazen spirit includes bay leaves (for courage), wild fennel seeds (chewed by Roman soldiers for courage) and rosemary (for remembrance).

Ruin is a wry nod to the historical reference to gin as ‘mother’s ruin’; and from a place of ruin there is no other choice but to rise and conquer.



Tony has been perfecting the craft of distilling spirits for over thirty years. On the urging of family and friends he has moved his side hustle to centre stage so as to share his exceptional gin with the rest of the world.  As well as demonstrating technical excellence in creating a quality base spirit, Tony has developed a complex and very pleasing gin flavour profile with a combination of traditional botanicals and locally foraged seeds and leaves.  Tony is passionate about his craft and takes extreme care to ensure that gin perfection is decanted into every bottle.  

Jacqui is the other partner in this gintastic enterprise.  She is the first line in quality control with responsibility for branding, social media and riverside foraging.

Photo of Tony with his still, affectionately named Stylvia after his much loved mother-in-law Sylvia, the original gin queen.


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