More than two hundred and seventy years ago Swellendam was declared a magisterial district, the third oldest in South Africa, and was named after Governor Hendrik Swellengrebel, the first South African born Governor, and his wife, Helena Ten Damme. This outlying settlement soon became a gateway to the interior, and was visited by many famous explorers and travelers. In time, a village was established beyond the Drostdy, where artisans including numerous wainwrights and traders settled. Swellendam was the last outpost of Dutch civilization on the eastern frontier and thus the services of the residents of the town were of great importance.
By 1795 maladministration and inadequacies of the Dutch East India Company caused the long-suffering burghers of Swellendam to revolt, and on 17 June 1795 they declared themselves a Republic. Hermanus Steyn was appointed as President of the Republic of Swellendam. However, the Republic was short-lived and was ended on 4 November 1795 when the Cape was occupied by the Kingdom of Great Britain. With the arrival of British settlers in the early 19th century the Overberg boomed, and Swellendam was soon the heart of the mercantile empire. The Breede River was the only navigable river in South Africa and ships sailed 35 km up river to Malgas to unload and load merchandise.
In June 2011, the Swellendam Municipal area, which includes Barrydale, Suurbraak, Malgas, Infanta and Stormsvlei, re-declared itself a Republic. This republic is dedicated to the principles of the New South Africa, and celebrates rural life, racial harmony, respect for nature and wildlife, and aims to promote sustainability and an "unplugged" way of life for all to enjoy. The exciting history of this area however started nearly three centuries ago with the rebellious nature that can only be labeled as Proudly South African.
The Rebel trapped inside the bottle can be traced back to a brave and radical man who traveled “Over Die Berg” to our historic town of Swellendam and sacrificed himself by his encapsulation in this rare gin. In doing so he ensures that every bottle is of utmost quality “Oorlam”. In releasing the Rebel you will not only be treated to a fusion our wonderful ingredients but also discover your own rebellious nature and sense of adventure.