Are you a fan of unique spirits and exciting new flavours? Are you looking for something special in the next bottle you buy or pour yourself a drink with? If so, discovering Australia's craft distilleries is one way to explore some incredible spirits that are like no other. From Sydney to Perth and everywhere in between, there are plenty of local distilleries that offer everything from natively distilled gin and rum to whisky with bold Aussie flair.
Come along on an adventure into Australia's artisanal booze— let’s explore what makes each of these craftsmen-distillers creations such an exciting departure from conventional drinks!
Let's get started!
Australian Craft Distilleries
The majority of people in Australia need to be made aware of the proliferation of craft distilleries that are springing up across the country. The cause for this is that 85 per cent of these distilleries are located in rural regions, which are characterised by unstable economies and restricted chances for employment.
A single person runs the majority of distilleries found in rural areas, and as a result, they lack the financial backing and marketing experience necessary to advertise themselves. It isn't a simple matter for urban distilleries, however, as they frequently have to pay the increased rents and have stricter safety requirements in place for members of the public who frequently attend their facilities. These factors all add to the cost of urban distilleries' already pricey operations.
When compared to what is taking place in the United States and the United Kingdom regarding craft spirits, the craft spirit industry in Australia is still in its infant stages. These areas are going through something akin to the boom that was seen in the craft beer industry more than ten years ago, and it's happening with craft spirits. It would appear that this tendency is following on the coattails of the craft beer industry, where the mantra is "little is the new black" and customers are "drinking less but drinking better."
Perspicacious drinkers are trying to reach for increasing amounts of expertise as well; they would like to understand how the product is manufactured, who made it, what components are used, where the ingredients come from, what still was utilised, what distillation procedure was put in place, and what the correct method is to consume these merchandise is. They are also interested in seeing these distilleries and interacting directly with the distillers.
We are also observing that Australian consumers are moving towards purchasing locally created items, which is excellent for promoting growth in our entire Australian economy. This is something that we have noticed recently. "Small Bars," which are most commonly found in Central Business District (CBD) settings, have been the industry's most enthusiastic early adopters of the craft spirit industry.
They typically hand-sell items to their audience and pride their company on service and providing a one-of-a-kind atmosphere with the Australian beverages that they passionately offer, making them effective friends for artisan distilleries. In addition, clients get the opportunity to try some of these one-of-a-kind items for the initial time when they buy from small bars.
Why are Australian Craft Drinks so much better than other spirits? In contrast to the industrial distilling techniques used by major organisations that make alcohol on a vast scale, mostly through the use of machines, craft distillers often manufacture their drinks by hand, utilising small-batch qualitative distilling processes using better ingredients.
Many artisan distilleries in Australia are also committed to being environmentally responsible by employing environmentally friendly methods of distillation. In addition, in Australia, craft distilleries are starting to hire a greater number of individuals from the communities in which they are located.
Are you looking for the perfect drink? From the Mornington Peninsula Brewery, Tar Barrel breweries and distilleries are producing some of Australia’s most outstanding craft beers, ciders and spirits.
A Developing Sense of Self
Suppose this in-depth look at the topic sets the stage and illustrates why numerous business owners see the opportunity to build a successful company. In that case, the question that arises next is why Australian drinks are producing so much attention among consumers.
This is due, in part, to the fact that several worldwide drinking tendencies, including premiumisation, increased health consciousness, digitisation, and origin, each of which are visible in Australia and are projected to persist for years to come, are all contributing factors.
Because of the latter, for instance, Australian distillers are able to conjure a feeling of location in the beverages they produce because to the outlandish concepts, the one-of-a-kind flavour combinations, and the exceptional natural resources that are located in their immediate environment.
Gin distillers, particularly, have been increasingly interested in the peculiar and wondrous world of native herbs. Wattle seed, lemon myrtle, all of the eucalyptus variants under the sun, pepper berry, infinite citrous types, the likes of macadamia and sandalwood, and plenty more produce a distinguishable differentiating factor and make it possible to have a robust local accent. But, of course, that's before we even start talking about forward-thinking combinations like Shiraz or other grape-infused gins, which grew from a lone manufacturer to a whole genre and are now as widespread in the British Isles as Rhubarb Gin is.
While this is going on, the maturation of Australian whisky in wine barrels and with very specific mash bills is beginning to take shape. Exciting new outcomes are also being achieved in the production of rum thanks to the use of novel techniques for the preparation of regional sugarcane and the singular conditions in which barrels are aged. As a result, craft alcohol produced in Australia are, across the board, based on genuine concepts and the local environment.
One of the primary motivating aspects behind consumers' decision to "purchase into" local artisan brands also includes the distillers themselves, as well as the accessibility of distillers through social media and gatherings. Faceless international corporations do not have the same amount of adhering power that they once did in a society where individuality is valued. As a result, true stories, local companies, and travels that the consumer can relate to are becoming increasingly popular among consumers. They would like to help the local community, and they are looking for someone to sponsor them.
Last but not least, the pandemic was responsible for a hasty acceleration of e-commerce and direct channels to consumers. However, it isn't just the activities or the distillery door that give companies the opportunity to expand their visibility; consumers are already accustomed to online shopping, and the traditional reluctance to do so is soon becoming a thing of the past. In addition, craft distillers now have exposure to a wide range of marketing tools, including subscription models for sample products and recurring refill packs, including exclusive member accessibility.
Evolving customer trends do not automatically benefit large or small, local or global businesses; rather, they benefit those businesses that accept these changes the quickest and execute them in a way that is both appropriate and productive to their market. The craft distilling sector in Australia is adopting new horizons in the market, which is contributing to its continued growth and maturation year after year.
As it hits its pace, this is becoming more vibrant than ever before, and as a result, consumers are growing ever more passionate about it. So we have just started off on our adventure.
The Craft Beer and Gin Industries Are the Most Prominent
In comparison to aged alcohol, beer and gin, which both have fairly low entry hurdles and can be created quickly, dominate the craft beverage market in Australia. This is due to the fact that beer and gin are easier to make. Both also have the benefit of providing virtually an infinite number of different flavour combinations.
Craft alcohol produced in Australia remains to be subjected to fierce competition from bigger corporations, despite the fact that certain firms are using their marketing expenditures to powerful advantage in order to attract more consumers to the gin sector... Then it's our responsibility to take that customer, demonstrate something special to them, perhaps make the trip a little more luxurious, and provide them with an outstanding adventure.
When it comes to beer, the "major contribution" that the craft sector is showing to be is Australia's general increase in the consumption of beer. Craft companies that large brewers hold and that frequently serve as entry points into the craft category have also witnessed tremendous development. Still, they haven't yet reached the level of development impact that autonomous craft brewers have achieved.
Possibilities Regarding The Coming Years
It is expected that the need for the craft will keep growing in Australia moving forwards, particularly because more local enterprises come online. In addition, increasing customer accessibility to and awareness with the term "indie craft" will be greatly facilitated by the capacity to experiment and investigate. In the meantime, in response to the desire of customers, an increasing number of wholesalers are devoting more storage space to craft.
We have witnessed the comeback and development of local brands, which has coincided with the rise in the importance of locals as a determinant in consumer purchasing habits. Clients are also growing more conscious of locally-owned companies as opposed to massive business brands, which has resulted in geography and regional differences beginning to become important components in the decision-making process for purchases.
The primary underlying macro trends, which include premiumisation, increased health awareness, digitalisation, and authenticity, have yet to be disrupted by the epidemic and are expected to persist during the forecast period, which extends to 2024. This is a positive sign for the handicraft industry in Australia.
Best Micro-Distilleries in Australia
Mt Uncle Distillery, Queensland
The rugged Atherton Tablelands are known as the "food bowl of the tropics" because of the region's beautiful landscape, abundant crops, and culinary trail, all of which contributed to the region earning this moniker.
But if there's nothing to drink in the bowl, what good is the food? To fill this void, the Mt. Uncle Distillery was established. At its chill cellar entrance, the distillery sells its caramel-like Iridium rum, spice-driven Black Cock whisky, and sweet, blush-pink marshmallow liqueur. The property on which the distillery is located is also residence to alpacas and peacocks.
Bass and Flinders Distillery, Victoria
The Mornington Peninsula is a gastronome's dream because of its abundance of vineyards, eateries, and farmgates selling freshly selected fruits, cheeses, and other delicacies. In addition, the beaches on the peninsula are some of the most beautiful in all of Australia. Ochre is a grape spirit that is matured in French oak barrels and has a heady, cognac-like flavour.
If you require a digestif after a long day of feasting, consider the zesty, invigorating limoncello or the trippy, cognac-like Ochre at Bass and Flinders. Finally, consider the Monsoon gin for a flavour of Asia; it has undertones of lemongrass and ginger, so it gives a classic G&T an interestingly foreign flavour.
Hoochery Distillery, Western Australia
Find out everything there is to know about the rich and flavorful Ord River Rum at Hoochery Distillery. This distillery had its beginnings in a little shack, but it has now expanded into a spacious cellar entrance that resembles an old-fashioned tavern.
The distillery is located in the Ord River Valley, which is part of The Kimberley, which in itself is famous for its rugged landscapes and uneven surfaces – in contrast to the rum, which was so smooth that it was delivered at Noma during the widely regarded Danish restaurant's sell-out pop-up period in Sydney in 2016.
McHenry Distillery, Tasmania
Have you recently considered distilling your own gin? At the world's southernmost distillery, which also sells its homemade gin, vodka, and whisky, you have the opportunity to do exactly that. The distillery also hosts classes on how to make gin. You don't have time for a lesson? Then you should just sample it.
Choose between McHenry's original dry gin, which has flavours of coriander and orris root and is well-balanced, or choose the sloe gin, which is prepared with locally harvested sloe fruit and gives the liquor a beautiful scarlet colour as well as a sour, plum-like taste. Mix a visit to the distillery with the Port Arthur Historic Site for a convenient day excursion from Hobart. The two locations are only 15 minutes apart by car.
23rd Street Distillery, Renmark, South Australia
This once-famous distillery found in the middle of South Australia's citrous bowl is demonstrating that not each trendy distiller is a newcomer to the industry. The 23rd Street Distillery, which began operations in 1914 and was once a prosperous cooperative, ran into financial difficulties at the beginning of this century.
This old spirit house has been given new life by its new owners, who are responsible for the production of a modern Signature Gin that is loaded with mandarin and lime obtained from the immediate area. What is really to dislike about their brandy, which is playfully referred to as "Not Your Nanna's Brandy"? It is very uncommon for this ingenious distiller to set up a pop-up gin bar in Adelaide, the boho capital of South Australia. If you do, you should not be shocked to find it there because it is a popular attraction at many of the city's alley festivals.
Sullivans Cove, Tasmania
This whisky distillery has racked up an impressive number of accolades over the years, including the distinction of "world's best single malt" at the whisky industry's version of the Academy Awards in 2014. Ever since it has also been honoured with a number of other accolades.
Fans can get a glimpse behind the scenes during distillery visits and sample some of the heavenly stuff; tasting it is similar to having angels dance on your palate. Distillery tours are available. Because the distillery is only a short drive away from Hobart Airport, you will have plenty of time to enjoy a whisky flight (also known as a taster paddle) prior to boarding your flight.
Archie Rose Distiling Co, Sydney
Archie Rose is a distillery that is just as significant about the layout of its space as it is regarding the spirits that it produces. Archie Rose has begun taking a commercial chic fit-out and introduced a nice combo of 'ginspiration' with glimmering copper coatings and a wall of – what other? – spirit-ageing canisters dividing the bar from the distillery itself. Take a guided tour of the distillery, which focuses on white rye whisky, vodka, and gin, or simply roll up for a cocktail; the bartenders understand how to craft a pretty excellent cocktail, which is fitting for such a venue.
Four Pillars, Victoria
You cannot help but observe the enormous shed-like structure that serves as the home of the Four Pillars distillery as you make your way from Melbourne to the grapevine-covered slopes of the Yarra Valley, which is one of Victoria's premier wine attractions. Within, visitors can take in the shining copper stills, which are called after the mothers of the company's founders.
They can also taste the finished version while understanding about the one-of-a-kind gin's components, like whole oranges and Tasmanian pepper berries. The oranges that are left over after producing the gin are used to make marmalade; at long last, it is acceptable to consume anything linked to gin in the morning!
Frequently Asked Questions
A distillery that values the importance of transparency in distilling and remains forthcoming regarding its use of ingredients, its distilling location and process, bottling location and process, and its aging process.
In actuality, the general definition for craft spirits is that the spirit is handcrafted and normally produced by a small distillery that often uses locally sourced ingredients and materials.
A craft cocktail is an upscale version of a classic cocktail that takes more skill or craft to make. These drinks feature curated ingredients, go the extra mile with garnishes, and take a few extra minutes to prepare compared to a standard cocktail. They take the art of mixology to a whole new level.
Distillation and Reflux. As alcohol and water vapours rise from the pot, they enter the copper column where they "reflux" – the lighter alcohol vapours continue to rise, and the water falls back to the pot. The temperature of the column, and degree of reflux, control the quality and flavour of the distillate.
One of the driving factors behind the growth in the distillery industry is premiumization: the concept that consumers are willing to pay more for a product that they perceive is unique and one-of-a-kind. Successful craft distilleries aren't just selling a product. They're selling a story.