Starting a Distillery

The ADA receives many enquiries from the public seeking information on how to start their own commercial distillery.
Distilling is a rewarding occupation that can be lucrative when done well. However, it can also be extremely challenging and costly. Planning properly before you start, including financial forecasting, is a critical key to being successful.
ADA Members are usually happy to provide complimentary advice and direction to other Members. However, they have their own businesses to run so may not always have much time to offer guidance. There are also consultants who specialize in this field who can provide guidance and assistance.
The following are a list of common issues, amongst many more, that you should heavily research in developing your business plan before commencing your own distillery:
  • What product will I make?
  • How will my product be different from the others that are out there?
  • Why would someone buy my product over a competitors product?
  • Where will it be sold?
  • How much and at what price do I need to sell it at to be able to cover my costs?
  • What margins will retailers and distributors expect?
  • What equipment will I need?
  • What will my brand look like?
  • Will I need a manufacturers licence from the ATO?
  • What requirements will an ATO manufacturer’s licence place on me?
  • How will I handle excise payments?
  • What state licences will I need to get to sell alcohol?
  • Where will I set up my distillery?
  • What local planning requirements will need to be met through my local council?
  • Does the location have the access, power, water and other utilities I will need?
  • Where will I buy my inputs from?
  • What inputs will I need?
  • What labelling laws do I need to be compliant with?
  • How will I dispose of my waste and are any licences needed for this?
  • How will I sell my products on site?
  • What safety laws in my state effect the storage of alcohol and manufacture of alcohol?
  • If I am going to use gas for heating are there any licences or laws I need to be aware of?
  • Where can I get the formal training¬†I need to be a recognised distiller?
  • What product safety and testing do I need done before I sell my product to ensure the safety of my customers?
  • How much money will I need to set up initially?
  • Will I aim to export or sell just to my local market?