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Golden Lion Distillery

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Distillery signage 1 model.png
HLA Distillery01.jpg
Golden Lion Distillery
General information

Before the Seven Hour War


After the Uprising


Quarantine Zone, City 17


Combine occupation

Game information
  • a3_c17_processing_
  • a3_distillery
  • Jim Hughes (level design)[1]
  • Dean Tate (level design)[2]
  • Adam Foster (art pass)[3]
"Okay, uh, well if I cut out again, remember: Vodka doesn't go off, okay? Lasts forever."

The Golden Lion Distillery (Bulgarian "Фабрика за спиртни напитки Златен Лъв", "Fabrika za spirtni napitki Zlaten Luv"), also simply known as the Distillery, is a Quarantine Zone location featured in the seventh chapter of Half-Life: Alyx, Jeff.


The Golden Lion Distillery is a long abandoned spirit distillery that Alyx Vance passes through on her way to the Vault. When in activity, the distillery was producing the Golden Lion vodka, as well as whiskey and gin. It is part of the Industrial Zone, an area shared with the distillery with its dedicated City 17 Metro station, connected to line 5 and 6.

The bodies and discarded equipment of a Combine Infestation Control unit show signs that they had once attempted but ultimately failed to cleanse the Xen infestation there. Inside the Distillery, Alyx meets Larry, a Human who has managed to survive the dangers of the QZ. He introduces her to Jeff, an extremely dangerous blind creature who mutated from the corpse of an Infestation Control crew member, who has been infected by spores and wanders through the building based on sound. Larry informs Alyx that Jeff can be distracted with sounds, and Alyx proceeds to use the copious amount of vodka bottles to her advantage, picking them up and throwing them at far off locations to lure away Jeff when he follows their shattering. Alyx is forced to contend with Jeff for almost all of her time in the Distillery. Eventually, she traps him in a trash compactor and makes the choice of sparing or killing him. Just outside of the building is a large Combine plug meant to seal off Antlions. Alyx opens the seal to continue her journey to the Vault, heading into the Central Zoo.

Throughout her time in the Distillery, Russell continually implores Alyx to bring back a bottle of vodka, showing that he has a strong affinity for it.

Related Achievements[edit]

Half-Life: Alyx
Achievement Near-Jeff Experience.jpg Near-Jeff Experience
Stay close to Jeff for 10 seconds (but not too close).
Crustacean Frustration.jpg Crustacean Frustration
Kill the annoying headcrab before it breaks everything.
Achievement Hold Your Liquor.jpg Hold Your Liquor
Catch a bottle falling out of a cupboard before it breaks and alerts Jeff.
Achievement Sound Strategy.jpg Sound Strategy
Escape the distillery without killing Jeff.
Achievement Flat Note.jpg Flat Note
Kill Jeff.
Achievement Team Spirit.jpg Team Spirit
Bring Russell a bottle of vodka.

Behind the scenes[edit]

Early in development, the game was set in more generic locations, with Jeff being encountered in a warehouse or tenement building.[4] The glass bottles, meant for players to use as distractions, were already present in large amounts, which developers jokingly explained by assuming that the place was something like a winery. The joke eventually turned into reality when Valve decided that the areas needed distinct personalities.[5]

The Distillery was to intermittently feature encounters with Combine forces as a way to demonstrate Jeff's power. The firefight sections were eventually removed, as they turned out to affect the chapter's pace and disturb the atmosphere of suspense and tension. In the final game, Jeff is instead occasionally shown killing Headcrabs,[5] and the Combine soldiers only appear as corpses killed by Antlions. A fleeting shot of Alyx smashing a supply crate onto a Combine Ordinal is present in the trailers.

According to level designer Dean Tate, the Distillery may have about three times as many physics objects than the entirety of Half-Life 2.[5]


The advertisements, signs and products pertaining to the Distillery are written in Bulgarian rather than the usual Russian, a rare instance in the games.

In the depository grounds outside the distillery, a Grunt can be observed doing unique animations. He is seen looking at and tapping an inactive Combine outlet, before giving a small wave to someone in the distance.





List of appearances[edit]


  1. Twitter favicon.png Tweet: "Typically Valve level designers will own levels from early greybox through to ship, but this one changed hands a few times. The first blockout was done by Jim Hughes, including this ledge the player can stand on while they experiment with throwing bottles to get Jeff’s attention." @IamDeanTate on Twitter (October 27, 2022)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Twitter favicon.png Tweet: "Next up is my blockout of the “cellar” from near the end of the level. This is an area where the player is stalked by Jeff in a tight maze while they search for some batteries that will allow them to escape the distillery." @IamDeanTate on Twitter (October 27, 2022)
  3. Twitter favicon.png Tweet: "The broad-strokes of the geo blockout didn’t change a whole bunch. Adam Foster gave it a fantastic art pass. Here’s what the finished product looks like." @IamDeanTate on Twitter (October 27, 2022)
  4. Twitter favicon.png Tweet: "That basic concept remains in the shipping level. Over time we added things like Larry, the talkative NPC who guides Alyx through the rules of interacting with Jeff. In early days, the level was set in tenements and the busted-out wall originally gave a view of a second building." @IamDeanTate on Twitter (October 27, 2022)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Valve Reveals How Half-Life: Alyx's Most Terrifying Chapter Was Made - IGN First on IGN
  6. Twitter favicon.png Tweet: "Hey #blocktober - here’s some stuff I worked on from the “Jeff” chapter in Half Life: Alyx. Beware: SPOILERS ahead. First up, some screenshots of the area where we train the player on how Jeff works. I referred to this area as the “training trench” throughout development." @IamDeanTate on Twitter (October 27, 2022)
Preceded by
Holden Company Processing Plant
Half-Life: Alyx story arc journey Succeeded by
Central Zoo