Aussie Distillers go from Strength to Strength
The exploding craft spirit scene has become one of Australia’s great success stories. Pulling up a bar stool now is likely to be met with a bartender hawking a new, locally-made craft spirit, usually served with an entertaining story on how its unique artisan blend was made.
Heading up the Australian Distillers Association (ADA), Chief Executive Officer Paul McLeay said Australian spirits are on “the cusp of something very exciting”, with local artisan distilleries concocting distinctive blends ranging from seaweeds to native flowers. The industry dominates international competitions.
The “boom” currently being experienced in the Australian craft spirits industry rivals the wine industry in the 1980s.
The craze is quickly morphing into quirky gins, like “Vegemite and Buttered Toast” from Archie Rose Distilling Co., Four Pillars, “Bloody Shiraz” gin and Applewood Distillery’s “Desert Lime” gin.
Self-confessed craft gin lover, Mr McLeay, has been at the forefront of the boom and said that Aussies have fallen in love with the truly unique and delicious Australian spirits – and can’t get enough of it.
“In addition to the classical botanicals – we really have incredible authentic Aussie botanicals like lemon myrtle, Tassie pepper berry and wattle seed.
“We are making some of the best spirits in the world right now, and our local spirits industry is an impressive example of what can be achieved when Australians embrace hard work, innovation, and opportunity,” said Mr McLeay.
In 2014, less than 30 distilleries existed in Australia and today there are more than 350 craft distillers, producing more than 1,000 world-class spirit products that boldly embody the Australian character.
The ADA was founded in 2004 to represent and promote Australia’s growing craft distilling scene, with more than 350 members including the likes of Archie Rose Distilling Co., Adelaide Hills Distillery, Whipper Snapper and Manly Spirits Co.
Mr McLeay told The Cultivator that Australian consumers are becoming “ferociously local” with a fondness for provenance and for Australian products and ingredients, which the craft distilling industry is able to capture more effectively than other industries.
Through the supply of a premium base alcohol made with Australian grain, wine or sugar, distilleries can explore local ingredients and flavours that embrace the spirit of their communities, regions, and their own backyard.
Despite having proud traditional roots, Manildra Group’s approach to the production of the purest grain neutral spirits is anything but ‘traditional’, producing their world-class, extra neutral alcohol from their state-of-the-art seven column distillery in Nowra, New South Wales.
“As a family-owned Australian business, we have a strong sense of pride in the creation of our Australian-made, truly odourless extra neutral alcohol, made from 100 per cent Australian GMO-free wheat,” said Manildra Group Head of Ethanol, Debbie Forster.
“Our extra neutral alcohol is like a blank canvas for Australian craft distillers, a premium product from which they can create uniquely Australian vodka, gin, liquors to ready-to-drink spirits.
“The craft distillery industry share Manildra Group’s entrepreneurial spirit, love for Australian-grown and made products, commercial smarts and drive to succeed, and our partnership with the ADA is driving jobs, economic returns and global acclaim,” said Ms Forster.
Mr McLeay said that the industry partners with suppliers, such as Manildra Group, to ensure they can supply craft distillers with a super-premium, Australian-grown and made alcohol, to craft truly Australian world-class spirits.
“Manildra Group holds a special place in our industry as reliable partners which continue to provide leadership, integrity and importantly, incredible Australian inputs with craft distilling production growing from strength to strength,” he said.