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Check the latest news and advocacy work from the Australian Spirits Industry.

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  • 4 Apr 2024 3:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Since 1 July 2021 the Excise remission scheme for manufacturers of alcoholic beverages (Remission scheme) has provided eligible alcohol manufacturers with a full (100%) automatic remission of excise duty, up to a maximum of $350,000 per financial year, on alcoholic beverages they manufacture and enter into the Australian domestic market for home consumption. The Remission scheme replaced the Excise refund scheme for alcohol manufacturers (Refund scheme).

    There has been some significant discussion from members about the Remission scheme and the consequences of the market distortion the scheme creates. The board has had lengthy discussions, as have the recent States Presidents meeting as well as other member engagement.

    One of the board members, Ian Schmidt from Iniquity, has prepared a short opinion piece about unintended consequences and some erroneous myths. The Executive have asked that a discussion board be established in the members portal to have a member forum about this topic. It will be restricted to members only by logging onto the members portal.

    Participate in the Discussion Forum

  • 4 Apr 2024 3:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are excited to announce the launch of the Certificate IV in Artisan Fermented Products (Distilling), marking the first accredited course for craft distillers in Australia. This achievement made possible by the support of Agriculture Victoria, Spirits Victoria Association, Australian Distillers Association, National Distilling Institute, and industry experts, underscores Victoria's leadership in distillery education. This is an Australian first!

    Victorian Distillers will be leading the country as the first cohort begins this exciting journey.

    The following are the first cohort had their first day on 19 March at Starward Distillery. The first cohort of students are:

    • Gavin Shaw, Hillmartin Distillery
    • Hugh Leech, Marionette
    • James Haddow, Starward
    • Jessica Tape, Animus Distillery
    • John Hanrahan, independent
    • Jonathan Harris, Saintlier Distillery (Ginsky)
    • Katherine Barrett, Numilum
    • Matthew James Clewlow, Starward
    • Sam Wieland, Black Rabbit
    • Serena Ryan, Legacy Spirit Gin Distilling Co

    Course Information

  • 4 Apr 2024 3:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We have launched the pilot program for the highly anticipated "Introduction to Distillery Safety Course".

    This initiative, brought to you by the support from Agriculture Victoria and The Spirits Victoria Association, Australian Distillers Association and Valudus Risk Assessment, aims to embed safety standards within the Victorian distillery industry.

    This course will be led by the esteemed Sebastian Reaburn. This one-day, in-person course is designed to equip distillery professionals, like yourself, with relevant, industry specific, workplace safety training. The comprehensive curriculum covers essential safety protocols and responsibilities, ensuring participants understand the critical importance of compliance and the potential ramifications of non-adherence.

    Course Information

    This Safety program will be made available to all members in the future.


  • 4 Apr 2024 3:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Deloitte was engage by SCA to report on the Economic Contribution of the Spirits Industry in Australia. Deloitte was engaged by Spirits & Cocktails Australia to do a follow up report to the industry analysis that was conducted a couple of years ago. This report took the opportunity to ask additional questions to enable further insights and analysis.


    The key insights have been used in the Pre-Budget Submission and will be used in the preparation for the Parliamentary Inquiry and associated advocacy.

    Thank you to the 250 distillers that participated. The input by members ensured the report is relevant, credible and reliable. In acknowledgement of the effort required to complete the survey, Spirits & Cocktails Australia and the ADA offered three prizes for those who completed the survey.

    • 1st prize was five tickets to the ADA Conference and a $5,000 travel voucher.
    • 2nd prize was two tickets to the conference and a $2,000 travel voucher
    • 3rd prize was a bottle of the Collaborative blend whisky

    The winners were selected at random by Deloitte. They are:

     Winner Distillery   Name


     Settlers Spirits  Phillip Jeffries
     2  Woodwater Distillery Justin Mok
     3  Nine Circles  Cat Coathup

    The report noted The Australian spirits industry supports economic activity both directly through its operations and through purchases from suppliers.

    In 2022-23, this economic activity was worth nearly $15.5 billion in total value add and supported over 100,000full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs across Australia, of which approximately 51,300 people are directly employed in the industry.

    The Australian spirits industry supply chain is made up of four stages, starting with approximately 700 spirit manufacturers that produce 366 million litres of finished product within Australia, attracting 3.5 million patrons to their distillery doors in FY23.

    Key findings included:

    • We are a growing industry. 700 spirits manufacturers currently operating, up from 200 in FY19
    • Local manufacturing: 366 million litres of finished product manufactured in Australia, including 61 million litres of spirits under maturation in FY23.
    • Patronage: 3.5 million visits by patrons to distillery doors in FY23
    • Exports: Exports of spirits increased 69% over the decade to reach nearly $112 million in FY23

    Spirits Industry Survey also reveals the important contribution to regional Australia, with 48% of respondents located outside of capital cities.

    Strong grow is expected for the spirits industry with 69% of spirits manufacturers expecting revenue to increase in FY24 and Revenue is expected to increase by 10% on average in FY24.

    Capital investment is expected to rise by 2.3% in FY24, with 30% of spirits manufacturers expecting their capital expenditure to increase.

    Barriers to growth

    • Excise tax burden
    • Inflation and rising costs of inputs
    • Economic uncertainty
    • Difficulty growing in existing market

  • 4 Apr 2024 3:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ADA and SCA have made a submission to Liquor & Gaming NSW on the proposed amendment to the regulation on undesirable products.

    We’ve lent on the rationale from ABAC on Hard Solo to stress that any amendment to the regs should only apply to alcohol products led by soft drink brands – and not the reverse (i.e. products led with alcohol brands, like Jim Beam and cola).

    It is important that we support the proposal on these grounds, as our failure to do so may result in a broader/ more restrictive definition at some later stage which may limit our members’ product innovation.

  • 4 Apr 2024 3:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ABC recently ran a series of stories about competition and potentially misleading behaviours about the major retailers are using home brand style products that do not look like home brand products. See here. Nip of Courage provided comment. The Association was asked for comment and declined.

  • 4 Apr 2024 3:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    APISWA have shared with us information about concerning regulatory developments for the alcohol industry in Thailand.

    The Office of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee (OABCC) has opened up public consultations for a draft Announcement on packaging and labelling, which foresees the introduction of graphic health warning labels (GHWLs) for alcoholic beverages. The OABCC had proposed this twice before (in 2009 and 2014), with the objective for Thailand to be the first in the world to implement such requirements. If enacted, the measure would be a world first for GHWLs for alcoholic beverages, and may spillover to other jurisdictions.

    The Association has a made appropriate submissions and supported a similar campaign by SCA to oppose the GHWLs.

  • 26 Mar 2024 6:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Australian spirits manufacturers are celebrating a bumper night at the World Whiskies Awards in London, with global honours awarded to several of our distilleries and their personnel.

    The Whisky Magazine awards ceremony on Wednesday night featured the announcement of the World’s Best whiskies in the World Whiskies Awards and the Icons of Whisky global winners.

    Australia shone in the 2024 Icons of Whisky Awards, with Tasmania’s Sullivans Cove Distillery – a three-time winner of World’s Best Single Malt – claiming four of the 27 Icons awards available on the night.

    Sullivans Cove’s Heather Tillott and Ally Bhana respectively won the prizes for Distillery Manager and World Whisky Brand Ambassador, while the distillery also picked up the Sales Team and Brand Innovator gongs.

    Fellow Tasmanians Callington Mill Distillery won the award for Visitor Attraction, while Seamus Carroll of The Whisky Club took home the prize for Scotch Whisky Brand Ambassador.

    Australian Distillers Association chief executive Paul McLeay said it was yet another remarkable showing by the industry in a prestigious global event.

    “For Australians to take out six of an available 27 Icons of Whisky awards demonstrates once again that our industry is world class,” he said.

    “I would like to congratulate all the winners of these global awards, as well as our distillers who were named Country Winners on the night.”

    McLeay said the awards cap off a momentous week for Australian spirits manufacturers, who are relishing the opportunity to participate in the Federal Government’s Inquiry into Food and Beverage Manufacturing in Australia, announced on Thursday.

    “These latest global accolades certainly bolster our case for policy initiatives that will support our industry in its quest to grow exports of our premium spirits, which speak proudly of their Australian provenance,” he said.

    Icons of Whisky 2024 – Global Winners

    Distillery Manager
    Heather Tillott, Sullivans Cove Distillery

    Visitor Attraction
    Callington Mill Distillery

    Brand Innovator
    Sullivans Cove Distillery

    Scotch Whisky Brand Ambassador
    Seamus Carroll, The Whisky Club

    World Whisky Brand Ambassador
    Ally Bhana, Sullivans Cove Distillery

    Sales Team
    The Team, Sullivans Cove Distillery

    World Whiskies Awards 2024 – Global Winners

    Best Label Design
    Callington Mill Distillery – Blue Lake Lodge

    World Whiskies Awards 2024 – Country Winners

    Best Australian Blended
    Coastal Stone – Xplore

    Best Australian Blended Limited Release
    Hellyers Road – Dark Harmony

    Best Australian Blended Malt
    Lark – Symphony No. 1

    Best Australian Pot Still
    Transportation Whiskey – The Journey Single Cask Cask Strength

    Best Australian Rye
    Backwoods Distilling Co. – Shiraz Cask

    Best Australian Single Cask Single Malt
    Hellyers Road – American Oak 16 Years Old

    Best Australian Single Cask Single Rye
    Whipper Snapper ­– Rye

    Best Australian Single Malt
    Lark – Fresh IPA Cask

    Best Australian Small Batch Single Malt
    Hellyers Road – Voyager Cask

  • 25 Mar 2024 4:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Australia’s spirits industry has the potential to follow the wine industry and become a $1 billion export powerhouse by 2035 under the right policy settings, according to new economic modelling released today.

    The Spirits Industry Competitiveness Plan prepared by research firm Mandala, and commissioned by the Australian Distillers Association and Diageo Australia, reveals policy and regulatory barriers, such as Australia’s high excise tax, are thwarting the potential of Australia’s spirits industry.

    Australia’s emerging spirits industry currently supports 5,700 jobs in manufacturing, with almost half of the country’s 701 distillers located in regional areas. The spirits industry attracts 631,000 visitors annually, with distillery visits now the fastest growing tourist activity for overnight domestic visitors in Australia.

    Despite this, the industry is still growing with 88 per cent of all distillers having fewer than 20 employees and more than half of distilleries less than five years old. Australian spirits exports also remain small when compared to the wine industry and international competitors, demonstrating an enormous opportunity for growth.

    “While there has been an overall increase in the number of distillers in Australia, the average size of distilleries is declining, and many are not scaling as it is either too challenging or not worthwhile. This is primarily driven by the high excise tax, which is restricting businesses' ability to reinvest in their company and attract investment,” the report says.

    The report states the federal Government can play a key role in helping to unlock the potential of the Australian spirits industry and simultaneously meet some of its own policy goals, including to grow Australian manufacturing and support regional jobs.

    By taking key steps, including freezing twice-yearly increases to Australia’s spirits tax and establishing a ‘Spirits Australia’ body to support the industry’s growth, Australian spirits can go from being a $210 million export market in 2022 to a $1 billion export market by 2035.

    This would create an additional $111 million in direct economic contribution and support almost 878 new FTE jobs, many in regional areas.

    Australian Distillers Association chief executive Paul McLeay said: “This report proves what distillers right around this country already know, that Australia’s spirits tax has significant implications for the competitiveness of the spirits industry and the ability for distilleries to scale and attract investment.

    “We welcome the federal Government’s move to set up a parliamentary inquiry into expanding innovation and value addition in food and beverage manufacturing, and we look forward to lending our expertise to those discussions.

    “However, we already know the current spirits excise regime is limiting the opportunity Australian distillers have to expand and grow their businesses, and that by freezing it, we can grow regional jobs, tourism and manufacturing.”

    Diageo Australia Managing Director Dan Hamilton said: “Australia’s spirits industry has enormous promise and Diageo has a strong track record in investing in great Australian spirits brands, but this report clearly demonstrates current policy settings are limiting the industry’s growth.

    “Our consumers, who are having to pay $38 in tax for every 1 litre bottle of Bundaberg Rum, know this tax is not sustainable. Now, this report makes it clear that it’s also limiting the foreign direct investment which could drive industry and export growth.

    “Having seen first hand the way Japan cultivated and grew its spirits export industry, I am confident Australia has all the hallmarks of being able to do the same, however, that cannot begin to occur until the government freeze’s the tax on spirits.”

    Mandala Managing Partner Amit Singh said: “Our analysis shows that while Australia is 6th in the world in wine exports, we’re 29th in the world in spirits exports. Even though we perform better than the global average for spirits exports potential, we’re significantly behind the global lead pack.

    “If Australia exports at its full trade potential, performing as efficiently as the UK, France, Singapore, Ireland, Mexico, we could export $1 billion of spirits annually by 2035 at our current rates of growth.”

  • 20 Mar 2024 7:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The National Distilling Institute launched its first course in Certificate IV in Artisan Fermented Products (Distilling) yesterday. Local member for Albert Park Nina Taylor and Australian Distillers Association CEO Paul McLeay joined the Spirits Victoria Infrastructure and Safety Chair Sam Slaney and Victorian Industry Development Officer Seb Costello to get the first intake of students underway with their studies.

    The initial intake of students will spend the next year studying a range of nationally accredited subjects as they develop significant skills in the theory and practice of operating a distillery.

    The National Distilling Institute expects to have a second intake of students in June 2024, so if you are interested in developing the skills of yourself or an employee, check out the Australian Distillers page for the Certificate IV as well as the updated Training & Education pages of the Australian Distillers.

    This initiative has been proudly developed by the National Distilling Institute, Spirits Victoria and Australian Distillers Association.

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Sydney, NSW, 2000

ABN 77 622 845 275

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