Essence of Harrogate | Premium Beverages

Mike Enright

Essence of Harrogate finds out how it all started for Gin enthusiast Mike Enright – Director and Co-founder of Barrelhouse Group in Sydney.
Originally hailing from the UK, Mike has had a major influence on the Sydney bar scene with 3 popular venues including The Barber Shop (located on York Street and in Barangaroo) as well as the The Duke Of Clarence on Clarence Street.


What was your inspiration to go into the hospitality industry?  
When I was 18 years of age, I genuinely looked too young to get into a pub, so I got a job in one. True story and the rest were history

When and where was your first gin?

Probably my mother’s drinks cabinet which probably wasn’t the best experience, so I’ll share the latter too. There is nothing better than the fresh smell of botanicals, seeing them being distilled and having a martini.

What have been the biggest changes to the hospitality scene in Sydney since you opened the doors to your first venue?

A few, lockout laws introduced back in 2013 was a big one. Small businesses are hard to manage from a cash flow perspective. The pandemic was probably the most significant challenge we had though, no surprises there.

The secret to a good gin cocktail?
Gin’s come in all shapes and sizes from a flavour perspective.  Styles of Gins are categorized to a point too, it can be confusing.  So taste and look at the botanical make up, match, enhance or try a completely different approach to flavours.