Swanndri Blog

Formerly The Blackball Hilton

Famous. Infamous. Curious. Haunted. Unmissable.

Lots of words have been used to describe Formerly The Blackball Hilton. They’re probably all a little bit true. All we can say is: it’s iconic.

Originally built in 1910, the hotel-pub-and-restaurant’s rise to prominence has paralleled that of the place it’s part of – Blackball. A mining town about 30kms inland from Greymouth, Blackball is famous for its rich and rebellious history, in which locals have regularly proven the power of collective action. It’s a beautiful place, full of wonderful people. And at the heart and soul of it all is Formerly The Blackball Hilton. A one-of-a-kind institution, it is a symbol of this place and the people who live here. It’s Blackball in a nutshell.

 

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Duck Season Down South

There’s no one thing you have to be to work at Swanndri. But, of course, there’s one thing we all have in common: a love of getting into the outdoors, making the most of life and living it up in this beautiful backyard we call New Zealand.

Dan Clark, Brand Manager here at Swanndri, would never say so himself, but he epitomises that spirit. For him, getting outdoors is an everyday thing. But then, once a year, every year, it becomes something rather special.

Duck season. On the first weekend of May, without fail, Dan and a group of his best mates get together down on his folks’ Southland farm for two epic days of catching up, hanging out, and having a good time. The odd bird is just a bonus.

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Swanndri Due West: Reefton Distilling Co

“What’s wrong with rain?”

For Patsy Bass, founder and Chief Executive of Reefton Distilling Co., rain is the most invigorating thing in the world – for us and our environment. It makes sense. Rain really is part of what makes New Zealand so special.

Of course, it’s one of the reasons Swanndri clothing was first created – to protect Kiwis from the elements. It’s also one of the reasons Patsy started Reefton Distilling Co. The world’s purest water, straight out of the sky and filtered through rock and native New Zealand forest is a huge advantage when you’re making craft gins and other spirits.

 

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