The Fitzroy of the North
Iconic Piper St

The iconic Piper Street in Kyneton boasts a wonderful strip of boutique shops, delightful restaurants and funky bars. At the west end, you will find Animus, an award-winning gin distillery, cocktail bar and retail space. Founded in 2015 by four friends who were passionate about creating world class gin. Their project, which began in their garage in North Fitzroy, quickly exploded when they had success at the Juniperlooza in 2016. The success of their launch to market helped them find their continuing distribution partner – Bibendum Bar – and together they have successfully distributed their award-winning spirits throughout Australia and Internationally.

It was time to move to a bigger and more prominent location and it was then they happened upon their current space in Kyneton. Although not knowing much about central Victoria at the time, Luke Jacques, co-owner of Animus, says that they were warmly welcomed into the community and really supported in establishing their business which only confirmed to them they had found the right place to call home. “Even through the challenging times of the pandemic years, the comradery with other businesses and locals was fantastic. People came to buy our products and those of our wonderful local wine, beer & spirit producers at our retail space.

We all supported each other. Luke says, it’s this support and community that sees Animus also contribute back to local organisations such as the CFA and the local Foodbank, as well as donating thousands of litres of bottled Hand Sanitiser to assist those in need during the early stages of the pandemic. Despite being in regional Victoria, Luke says they refer to Kyneton as “the Fitzroy of the North’ with the choice of cool bars such as Botanik and Miss M’s, people don’t have to miss out on the quality and excitement of the city and have the added bonus of small-town living”. And that’s the beautiful thing about Kyneton you can have the best of both worlds.