Q & A with James Irvine from Four Pillars Monday 13 December 2021 . We're incredibly grateful that Four Pillars have been a Scarf Partner for the past five years. Building from humble beginnings in 2013, in 2019 Four Pillars was named the world’s leading gin producer by the IWSC in London. They won again in 2020, making Australia’s favourite gin officially the world’s best. Epic. As a valued Scarf Partner, each year the Four Pillars team generously ship us a few cases of their award-winning gins, so we can provide solid industry training during programs. During Scarf Dinners and fundraising events, trainees get hands-on with these top-notch products. With support from mentors, the trainees make and serve cocktails to our diners, and the income from these drink sales helps to fund our social enterprise. Cheers to that! In 2021 the support from Four Pillars went even further. They ran a special promotion for Negroni Week '21, which saw a donation of $1,200 to Scarf, and their November Four Pillars of the Community program saw them donating a portion of sales from their moreish Australian Christmas Gin to Scarf and a bunch of other causes. We received a whopping $5,000... in other words, Christmas came early! For context, these $6,200 of donated funds will allow us to provide 155 hours of wellbeing and job readiness support to Scarf graduates in 2022. It's been another challenging year with huge disruptions to our planned programs and Scarf Dinners, so this donation couldn't have come at a better time. James Irvine, at left, Four Pillars Creative Director of Gin Drinks - yes, we all wish this was our job title too! - recently shared a few words about why the business continues to support Scarf, his proudest moments during the second year of the pandemic, and his top tip for a refreshing summer cocktail. . Scarf: Why does Four Pillars support Scarf's mission? James: Scarf talks to so much stuff we’re passionate about at Four Pillars. From the importance of great hospitality to giving young people a chance to build a career and a life, it’s just a sensational cause. We love that we can bring the gin to the party, and we were thrilled to be able to make Scarf one of the causes supported by our Four Pillars of the Community program. . What's something that our supporters might not know about Four Pillars that you're keen to share? This might be a bit of a humblebrag without the humility, but I think that while a lot of people in Australia know and love our gins, perhaps they don’t have a sense of where Four Pillars sits in the world of gin. We’ve been named the world’s leading gin producer at the International Wine & Spirits Competition two years in a row, so we’re not just making Australia’s favourite craft gin, but arguably the best gin in the world right now. . Four Pillars have had massive success in recent years. What makes you most proud? Apart from the awards for the gins, which are all down to Cameron [Mackenzie, Four Pillars Gin co-founder] and his distilling team, I’m probably most proud that we managed to open a drinks laboratory and cocktail bar in Sydney’s Surry Hills in the middle of a pandemic. It has obviously been a brutal time for the hospitality industry, and I’ve got so many great mates in the industry doing it tough right now, so it was a proud moment when we were able to stick to our guns and show that Four Pillars is truly committed to hospitality and great bars, establishing our own gin lab in Sydney. Now here’s to getting everyone vaccinated and getting the whole Australian bar scene back on its feet! . What's your current go-to Four Pillars based cocktail right now? Tanlines; our Modern Australian Gin, coconut whey, pineapple and lime leaf. This makes for great "spring into summer" drinking with tropical vibes. Available over the bar in Eileen’s or takeaway through the Gin Shop. . . . . Photos: Four Pillars - Supplied. Scarf - Roger Ungers (header photo, taken during Spring Scarf '19 at Garden State Hotel) and Lindsey Rendell (inset of hands pouring gin, taken at Scarf's Do More Than Dine fundraising event in 2018).