Our Story



Our story

Neart Tide is a family owned and operated artisan craft distillery and is the first distillery in Portland Victoria, first legal one anyway!
Portland is one of Victoria’s oldest towns and considered Victoria’s birthplace so we are convinced that during all those years there would had to have been some bootleggers in the district.

We have a strong belief in the quality of Australian produced spirits and a passion for the uniqueness of the Victorian Southwest Coast. Our Gins provide a distinctive taste and experience for people while promoting our remarkable region and it’s history.

Our Gins are hand crafted onsite in small batches using traditional methods, the highest quality ingredients, and incorporating many locally grown and sourced botanicals. 

Our name 

We often get asked about the name and the meaning behind it. Neart, pronounced nee-art, is a fun Scottish Gaelic word that has several meanings for us:

  • it ties in to the family's Scottish heritage (hailing from Upper Largo, Scotland)
  • Neart means Strength/Power, what better word to use when describing our spirits
  • and probably the most fun - Neart means Proof (of an alcoholic drink), now that's a name that's just meant to be! 

Who we are

Stuart and Amy Silvester have long had a love affair with gin.

For Stuart it started in 1992 when he was serving as a Peacekeeper with the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia, disarming the warring parties. The water was no good, the beer was terrible, and he needed something to keep the malaria away and so he started drinking gin. Gin and tonic has long been a remedy for warding off malaria due to tonic water containing quinine. As good an excuse as any to partake in your favourite tipple.

For Amy it was much simpler, after moving to Western Australia, a classic G&T became her go to on those hot WA evenings.

Fast forward several decades to about 4 years ago when, with solid proven recipes, our own distillery became a concept, three years ago an actual idea, two years ago we took the leap of faith and started planning for real, one year ago there were some hiccups and here we are now, up and running.

Amy likes the fun stuff, like the business planning and keeping the accounts in order………… she’s also the people person and loves telling the stories.

Stuart likes understanding the science and the traditional grind of making something from scratch………. he’s the ‘doing’ person and loves spending 8 hour days tending and talking to his still.

We both love creating, and partaking in, a product that we are proud of and are extremely grateful we get to share our journey, working with other local businesses to encourage and support each other, while promoting this amazing place in which we live.

Our philosophy

From our botanicals to our practices to our packaging we are committed to being sustainable: we will purchase and act sustainably; we will not be harmful to the environment or natural resources; we will continue to use and research botanicals unique to the Southwest Coast. 

We spend a large amount of energy ensuring that we remain as sustainable, environmentally and socially responsible as we can.

All our packaging is either recyclable or compostable, including everything we use for posting Australia wide - brown cardboard boxes, paper based wrapping and even our Fragile tape is paper!

Big shout out to HeapsGood and their amazing ‘hex wrap’ which is our direct replacement for bubblewrap! And to BioPak, the makers of BioCups which are plastic free and made from a plant derived bioplastic, the only cups certified commercially compostable to AS4736 in Australia and New Zealand.

For us this also means continuing to use as many locally sourced and grown botanicals as possible and traditional distillation methods to create authentic, high-quality spirits that appeal to the modern-day consumer.

When availability from Europe and Asia became a little tight for certain botanicals, we had to look to our own paddocks and roadside to replace some key botanicals. During some trials there was a eureka moment when we discovered something that not only worked as a replacement, it actually took the gin in a whole new (better) direction!!