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NSW | ACT news

Check the latest news and advocacy work from the New South Wales and ACT Spirits Industry.

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  • 10 May 2024 1:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Entries for Sydney Royal’s very first Distilled Spirits competition have opened today, with producers from across Australia being encouraged to enter the inaugural competition.

    Run by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) and chaired by Australian drinks industry veteran, and Australian Distillers Past President, Stuart Gregor, the new Sydney Royal Distilled Spirits Show will offer producers a chance to benchmark their products under the expert taste buds of Gregor’s panel of judges and potentially be crowned an inaugural Champion.

    “As the popularity of distilled spirits in Australia continues to grow, so does the importance of producers benchmarking products with others in the industry”, Gregor said.

    “This competition will not only allow us to identify the best producers in the industry at this point in time, but also to share valuable feedback with exhibitors to assist in the continued improvement and refinement of their product, and hence, the industry as a whole”.

    The Sydney Royal Distilled Spirits show will offer a fantastic range of classes for producers to enter, including Brandy, Cane Spirit, Gin, Liqueur, Rum, Vodka, Whiskey, Alternative Distilled Spirits, Non-Alcoholic and stand-alone Ready to Drink (RTD) classes, with fifteen Champion Trophies up for grabs including Champion Non-Alcoholic Spirit and Champion Ready to Drink.

    “It is important to acknowledge the increasingly popular choice of Australians to consume spirits in the ready-to-drink format of pre-mixed bottles or cans, and the Sydney Royal will be amongst the first Shows in the world to taste and assess this burgeoning category of modern-style drinks, alongside more traditional, full-bodied spirits”, Gregor said.

    As an organisation focused on championing Australian agriculture, the new competition will aim to highlight products made with at least 85 percent Australian-grown ingredients. This requirement is currently implemented across all Sydney Royal wine, beer & cider, dairy produce, and fine food competitions.

    While it is the inaugural show for the RAS, the renowned agricultural company has judged spirits before, with historical records confirming South Australian gin and Queensland rum entered classes as far back as 1870 and 1877, respectively. The organisation went on to continue judging select spirits alongside wine classes at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, before wine became a stand-alone Sydney Royal event in 2000.

    “While spirits have played a small part in the rich history of the RAS, the move to create a stand-alone spirits Show is a testament to the incredible growth within the industry, and I consider it an immense privilege to be called upon to lead the judging for the inaugural Show”, Gregor said.

    Entries for the 2024 Sydney Royal Distilled Spirits Show will close on Wednesday 22 May with judging will take place in early September 2024.


    Following the conclusion of the Sydney Royal wine, beer & cider and distilled spirits competitions, consumers will get a unique chance to sample some of the medal-winning products at the Grape, Grain & Graze Festival (GGG) which will take place on Saturday 21 September

  • 10 May 2024 1:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are working on a NSW|ACT Distillers Association Event. This event is by Distillers, for Distillers, to showcase to Consumers, Industry, and Political audiences just what our industry can bring to market and why we are an important piece to the manufacturing landscape in Australia.

    Below is a snapshot of a submission to the City of Sydney for a grant to be able to run our inaugural event which is targeted to be a yearly event showcasing our great State and Territory.

    This is still early stages, with a lot of work to be done, but this will be your chance to participate at a grassroots level to hero your products, your distillery, your area on the map. BTW….we want more than 60 distillers!! (this was just for submission purposes).

  • 22 Mar 2024 10:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our committee has been pursuing our goals since formation, and now with structured subcommittees, we're engaging a larger section of our community. From safety to tourism, engagement to export, we're addressing key areas to advance our industry. Stay tuned for more updates and an overview which will be delivered at the ADA Conference in April during our breakout session.

    See you at the 2024 Australian Distillers Association Conference

    It's time again for the annual ADA Conference! Celebrating the 20th year, this event boasts the biggest and best program yet. With keynotes, panel sessions, and specialty streams covering everything from harnessing success to sustainability, there's something for everyone. Plus, network at the expanded Trade Show and even take time to enjoy regional tours and a Gala Dinner. Don't miss this unrivalled opportunity for professional development and networking. Join us for the first NSW|ACT Distillers breakout session, offering a unique chance for us to engage on a larger scale. See you there!


    Networking for NSW|ACT Distillers, if you can’t make it to the conference fear not. We have a virtual event planned mid-year, with details on how to register and attend coming to you soon.

  • 22 Mar 2024 10:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Nestled amidst the azure waters of the Tasman Sea lies Lord Howe Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Island renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and unique biodiversity. Amidst this idyllic backdrop, Lord Howe Island Distilling Co. was born, founded by two mates, Anthony Riddle and Christian Young, with a shared vision of celebrating the island's rich botanical diversity through exquisite spirits.

    Lord Howe Island Distilling Co. stands apart not just for its exceptional spirits but also for its commitment to environmental sustainability. Recognizing the fragility of their island home, Anthony and Christian opted for small-batch distillation, minimising their footprint and preserving the island's pristine ecosystem. By distilling locally and shipping only what's necessary, they mitigate environmental impact while sharing the island's essence with the world.

    At their research and development distillery on the island, visitors can now embark on an enchanting journey of gin tasting and so to be making. Surrounded by lush subtropical forests and the tranquil sea, participants indulge in a sensory exploration, savouring gins infused with locally foraged botanicals like the endemic Mountain Rose and native Sea Grapes. Lord Howe is home to 114 botanicals that are found nowhere else on the planet. Each sip becomes a celebration of Lord Howe's unique flora and a testament to the craft of artisanal distillation.

    But the experience goes beyond mere tasting; it's an immersive dive into the art and science of gin making. Participants learn the intricacies of distillation while fostering a deeper connection with the island's environment. It's a journey that leaves a lasting impression, blending the magic of gin with the timeless allure of Lord Howe Island.

    Lord Howe Island Distilling Co. doesn't just make craft award-winning spirits; they craft unforgettable experiences, where every sip tells a story of nature's beauty and human ingenuity intertwined.

  • 22 Mar 2024 10:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As we develop as the NSW|ACT Distillers Association, we realise our strength lies in the people who come together to work and support. We're continuing to build and work on our goals through subcommittees and monthly meetings.

    But we need assistance. We're now seeking sponsors to support our industry endeavours. Know a supplier that would love to be involved with NSW|ACT Distillers and have access to over 80 Members? Send them our way!

  • 22 Mar 2024 10:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The International Women's Day lunch, hosted by Women of Australian Distilling at The Waratah in Darlinghurst, was a celebration of women's contributions to the craft distilling industry in Australia. Led by Harriet Messenger of Husk Distillers, the event featured speeches from four female pioneers shaping the industry.

    Amanda Lampe, from Diageo Australia, emphasised the importance of gender diversity in business, while Hannah Brecknell of Manly Spirits shared her inspiration drawn from creativity and her co-founder Vanessa Wilton's determination. Silvia Segato, Spirit Blender at Archie Rose, encouraged self-trust as the foundation of success, and Ed Svehla of Banks & Solander Distillery shared her journey from a strict upbringing to co-owning a successful distillery.

    The event showcased a set menu highlighting local producers and native produce, paired with cocktails crafted by attending women. It was a reminder of the strides made in inclusivity and a call to celebrate the achievements of women in the industry, both individually and collectively.

  • 22 Mar 2024 9:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    What a fantastic turnout at our first ever NSW Distillers "Under Bond" gathering! Held at Bar 26, inside Otter Craft Distilling (OCD). The evening buzzed with excitement and camaraderie. It was heartening to see industry friends, suppliers and supporters come together, sharing war stories and laughs amidst the holiday spirit. The atmosphere was lively, and there was a palpable sense of unity among us. As we sipped on delicious drinks and enjoyed the company, it became clear that we are a growing community. Here's to many more gatherings where we can continue to strengthen our bonds and support each other in this dynamic industry.

  • 28 Nov 2023 10:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NSW|ACT Distillers "Under Bond" gathering.
    You are invited to attend our first NSW|ACT Distillers Association get-together drinks. Just in time for Xmas, we are hosting at Eduard & Julie Otter's new Bar 26, right next to their Distillery. A chance to catch up with industry friends in our newly formed group and build camaraderie in this tough economic environment.

    With a welcome cocktail on arrival and nibbles gratis, we'll have ~$1K on the bar to get things started. Plenty of food and drinks available pay as you go. Come early, come with your crew, but please leave bottles at home for this event.

    NSW|ACT Distillers "Under Bond" gathering.Place: Bar 26, Otter Craft Distilling
    Address: 26 Halloran St, Lilyfield
    Time: 5-7pm


    Looking forward to seeing you there! 

    Destination NSW information: Creating EV-friendly Road Trip Experiences:

    NSW First Webinar:
    Date: Thursday 30 November, 10.30 – 11.30am.

    Register here

    Distilleries can find out more information about the NSW Government’s EV destination charging grants program, which co-funds up to 75% of the cost of purchasing and installing EV chargers.

    More Networking for NSW|ACT Distillers to come, including virtual events so we can all meet from all corners of the state and territory. Stay tuned!

  • 28 Nov 2023 9:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At NSW|ACT Distillers, we are reaching out to members to become a valuable part of one of our subcommittees. Your skills and expertise can play a pivotal role in achieving our shared goals, and we're eager to have some volunteers on board.

    To take the first step, we invite you to express your interest by completing our Subcommittee Member Application. This brief form will allow us to understand more about you and how you'd like to contribute.

    Kindly submit your responses via the form below.

    Your participation is invaluable, and we look forward to learning more about your interests and expertise. Should you have any questions or need further information, please don't hesitate to reach out.

    The three committees initially will be:


    Priorities will be to liaise with SafeWork NSW to create an open an mutually beneficial dialogue assisting in helping NSW|ACT Distilleries to know their obligations and become compliant to relevant safety standards in a way which doesn’t financially or operationally cripple them.

    Organise seminars for members to educate on responsibilities around safety, changes to relevant standards and sharing of tips, ideas, consultants and everything safety related.


    Dedicated to enhancing the visitor economy by promoting our local artisan distillers and their products. Through lobbying for state and territory government support and funding, we seek to raise awareness and create more opportunities for distillers in the region.


    On a mission to champion the premium quality products produced by our distillers on the global stage. With a focus on direct lobbying and government support, our goal is to secure funding for marketing initiatives, trade missions, and grants.

  • 14 Oct 2023 8:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Do take a look at our website for more information and the latest news, events and webinar recordings.

    Safety Audits Discussion Webinar recording now available on the ADA site with your member login. Guest speakers Gordon Chalmers, Rick Prosser and Sam Slaney, and all members who were able to join the webinar on the day. The recording of the webinar is now available - use the link below.


    Investing in Mental Health at Work: Black Dog Institute Secures NSW Government Funding.

    The Black Dog Institute has received further funding from the NSW Government to continue to deliver Mental Health at Work training programs. Proudly delivering the programs since 2019, over 38,000 individuals have completed the free training, resulting in a 35% increase in knowledge about workplace mental health issues. Tailored for employees, managers, and leaders, these programs provide individuals with practical skills to protect mental health, respond to mental ill-health, and promote wellbeing in the workplace. Training is free to privately owned NSW businesses with less than 200 employees and not-for-profit organisations of any size.

    Article to read

    Networking for NSW|ACT Distillers, likely to be held as an initial virtual event - details in the coming weeks.

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