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

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  • 20 Dec 2022 9:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Environment Ministers are considering expanding the Container Deposit Scheme to include full bottled spirits. Consultation is currently open in NSW and WA. QLD and ACT will begin public consultation soon. SA has already closed consultation.

    Our members are concerned about the move by multiple states and territories to expand the scope of their respective container deposit schemes to include full-strength spirits bottles. Our members are firmly committed to the principles of environmental sustainability, resource recovery and the circular economy. Along with Spirits and Cocktails Australia, we have made a submission to the Federal Environment Minister along the lines that as both global and local industry stakeholders with strong links to agricultural inputs, our members and our customers embrace these principles as necessary to protect our environment and optimise the costs of manufacture. Our largest members have set strong global targets to reduce energy, water and waste, address climate change and biodiversity, commit to best practice land stewardship, and increase the use of recycled and recovered materials in our products.

    Our members believe the ultimate objective of any scheme seeking to meet the objectives of a circular economy would be one which maximised the capture of available material that can be recycled – not just those from beverage containers. It seems to our members that a container deposit scheme that targets only beverage containers is incomplete and inefficient, where there are alternative solutions available that could capture recyclable materials from a broader range of products.

    In our informal discussions with environment Ministers we have argued that spirit bottles do not feature in the litter chain, the cost to both administer, as well as valuable real estate on labels are of significant concern. We also note the CDS administers are predominantly run by soft drink and beer manufacturers.

    The Australian Distillers Association has made and will continue to make submissions to the reviews.

  • 20 Dec 2022 9:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Many of the reforms are for new licence applications and amendments, streamlining processes and transparency and improving the consultation process for community stakeholders. A risk-based approach for licensing decisions will be applied, and there is an identified need to liberalise conditions and flexibility to support a 24-hour economy. The paper seeks views about consolidating the number of licence types, and to extending trading ours in some limited ways. This will more directly impact retailers and hospitality, although it will impact applications for pop-up licences and small distilleries which want to provide tastings. The paper also confirms an intention to continue to allow restaurants, cafes and small bars to sell limited alcohol (including RTDs and house made cocktails) with takeaway meals.

    The paper proposes NSW could allow producers to promote and sell their own product at any “event primarily held for the purposes of promoting and selling produce from the hospitality industry or a particular region”. This, for example, would allow you to sell our products at regional or Sunday markets that offer a mix of produce, crafts and artisanal products. Also, while wineries currently have flexibility to operate multiple premises under one licence, the same does not apply for breweries and distilleries. To open more options for them to market and sell their brands in a specific region or locality, the paper proposes all NSW liquor producers could be allowed to run multiple premises provided the sites are in reasonable proximity.

    The paper proposes that venues that only sell non-alcoholic beer, wine and spirits (under 1.15%) should not need a liquor licence. However, these products could not be promoted to minors, and the paper asked if L&G NSW should investigate complaints around these products being promoted to minors.

    The Australian Distillers Association made submission after seeking feedback from members in NSW.

  • 20 Dec 2022 9:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Recently the Economic Society of Australia published an article about the Australian alcohol tax system and the modelling of harm for various types of beverages. It notes that regular and mid strength beer is under taxed, and pre-mixed spirits in a bottle (but not a can) may be overtaxed. The paper concludes Alcohol taxation is one of the main policy instruments used by governments around the world to correct for market failures and negative externalities associated with excessive alcohol consumption. It also notes “The current Australian alcohol tax system is complex, anomalous and incoherent. There is a great need for reform and simplification.”

  • 20 Dec 2022 9:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Victorian Government has announced, they will extend the Victorian Distillery Door Program for an additional 2 years. This is an additional $10 Million for 2024-2026 and will be distributed on similar lines to the current program.

  • 20 Dec 2022 9:11 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are delighted to announce the first release of your 2023 Australian Distillers Association Annual Conference. Join over 400 brilliant and accomplished minds at Australia's premier event for Australian craft distillers, global producers and industry partners.


    Expect best practice content, how to guides, industry updates, news and market innovations from our speakers and sponsors.

    We've scheduled in more networking time this year and are introducing a trade fair for those that want to get there early for the welcome drinks and find out about our conference partners and sponsors innovations and industry news. There will also be more chances to engage with your peers throughout the conference with a new format and exceptional environment. Invite your colleagues, partners and industry guests to the 3-day event. Additional Gala dinner tickets can be purchased for spouses and partners for those attending the full event.

    Don't miss out on the industry tours to regional VIC distilleries, which were an outstanding success last year.

    Delivering the theme of Safe, Smart and Sustainable we look forward to seeing you there.

    View the conference page here and click on the relevant links to book.


    For Sponsorship opportunities, please click below.


  • 20 Dec 2022 9:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    President, Holly Killingworth recently met with the Prime Minister, the Hon Anthony Albanese, and other Ministers and Members of Parliament. The delegation included Amanda Lampe, Chair of Bundaberg Rum and Adem Karifili, Executive Chair of Top Shelf International. The delegation was supported by the Australian Distillers Association Chief Executive, Paul McLeay, and the Chief Executive of Spirits and Cocktails Australia, Greg Holland.

    The primary reason for the visit was to meet with the Hon Tim Ayers, Assistant Minister for Manufacturing and Assistant Minister for trade to advocate for a Parliamentary Inquiry into the spirits industry in Australia.

    The delegation from The Australian Distillers Association also met with the Joint Chairs of the Parliamentary Friends of Australian Spirits (PFAS), Brain Mitchell MP and Senator Perin Davey. We discussed plans for the PFAS including a possible event during the first month of the new parliamentary calendar in 2023. The event will be supported by Spirits & Cocktails Australia.

    Other meetings or receptions were held with included:

    • Senator the Hon Don Farrell, Minister for Trade and Tourism
    • The Hon Julie Collins MP, Minister for Small Business
    • The Hon Patrick Gorman MP, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister
    • Mr Dan Repacholi MP, Member for Hunter
    • Mr Luke Gosling MP, Chair of House Standing Committee on Regional Development, Infrastructure and Transport
    • Sally Sitou MP
    • The Hon Milton Dick MP, Speaker
    • The Hon Madeleine King MP, Minister for Resources
    • Ms Libby Coker MP, Member for Corangamite
    • Hon Stephen Jones MP, Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services
    • The Hon Michelle Rowland MP, Minister for Communications
    • Dr Daniel Mulino MP, Member for Fraser, Chair of the House Standing Committee on Economics
    • Ms Tania Lawrence MP, Member for Hasluck
    • Alison Byrnes MP
    • At one of the receptions we were also joined by local distillers from
    • Underground Spirits,
    • The Canberra Distillery and
    • Big River Distilling Company.

    Overall, the reception from the key parliamentarians was positive. We will continue to advocate for a wide-ranging parliamentary inquiry to review the policy settings that affect our members.


  • 25 Nov 2022 2:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Registration for the American Distilling Institute's 2023 International Spirits Competition has recently opened and as part of your Australian Distillers membership we have arranged for members to receive a discount code.

    You will save $100 per spirit off the non-member rate. And, any spirit entered by February 3, 2023 will automatically save an extra $50/spirit from their early-bird discount.

    American Distilling Institute (ADI) International Spirits Competition Benefits include:

    • Written feedback from judges for all entries.
    • Free entry into ADI's Excellence in Packaging Competition.
    • Top trophy winners can meet with the ADI's three retail partners, Binny's Beverage Depot, K&L Wine Merchants, and Total Wine & More.
    • New for 2023! Any International trophy winner that does not have US importation can meet with ADI's three import partners, Preiss Imports, MHW, and Aiko Importers.

    In addition, please note any spirits not yet imported into the US will need to complete the ADI free COLA Waiver application no later than February 3, 2023, and Spirits Registration closes March 3, 2023.

    Your can find all the details about the competition at by following the link below.


    To access the member discount code please follow the relevant link below. (Please note you will need to be logged into the member portal to access this code). Why not update your details whilst your there!


  • 22 Nov 2022 3:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Independent Stave Company (ISC) in conjunction with the Australian Distillers are pleased to announce the inaugural Young Distiller Fellowship Award is now open for nominations from distillers under the age of forty years old.

    The Award includes the following:

    • All expenses paid trip to Kentucky USA including:
    • Tour of ISC Kentucky Cooperage – maker of spirit barrels for many of the great bourbon distillers of the USA
    • Tour of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Cooperage – suppliers of quality used bourbon barrels
    • Tour of select ISC Distillery clients
    • Spirit barrel Oak 101 and tasting with ISC R&D Director – Andrew Wiehebrink
    • Accommodation and meals
    • Return airfares

    Please send all Award applications and enquiries to Australian Distillers.

    Nominations close on Thursday 22nd December 2022, the successful candidate to be announced at the 2023 Australian Distillers conference in Melbourne.


  • 16 Nov 2022 9:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Australian Distillers is pleased to release it's annual report with updates from the outgoing President, Stuart Gregor, CEO, Paul McLeay, the updates Committee of Management, Governance update, and both membership and financial reports.

    Access to the report for all members is below and will be emailed out.


    As Stu commented, "We have come a long way. A long way from my first conference in 2014 at Starward’s OG HQ in Essendon Fields when we had 24 attendees and 30-odd members. To the remarkable conference in 2022, a membership of 500-plus, a robust financial position and a new governance structure around the corner. I am thrilled that we were able to receive the full $350,000 excise relief in the 2021 Federal Budget – for me that was a red letter day."

    In his closing comments Stu stated "I know the Australian Distillers Association is in good hands with an active and responsible committee of management and competent, hardworking staff who will ensure we can continue to have a focus on safety and develop a focus on training to ensure sustainable growth.  Thank you for the memories and the honour of being your voice for the past eight years. I wish the incoming President all the very best; it is an exciting, rewarding and ultimately humbling role. See you at the Annual Conference next year for a drink at the bar."

  • 7 Nov 2022 4:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Australian Distillers members elected Holly Klintworth of Bass & Flinders Distillery as their first female President at their Annual General Meeting held on Monday.

    Holly takes on the role following eight years with Stu Gregor, Four Pillars co-founder and industry stalwart, at the helm. Under Stu’s leadership, membership of the Association grew from 30 to over 400 members, as Australian distilling continues to boom and flourish.

    Remarking on her appointment, Ms Klintworth expressed her excitement in accepting the nomination as President and acknowledged Stu’s legacy and tireless advocacy in achieving the increase to the alcohol manufacturer remission scheme from $100,000 to $350,000 at the 2021 Federal Budget.

    Holly Klintworth                                                        Stuart Gregor

    “When anyone thinks of Australian Distillers or Four Pillars, they think of the inimitable Stu Gregor. He encouraged Australian Distillers to be forward-thinking and to adopt a growth mindset. He demonstrated that our industry is capable of so much more.

    “Stu was inspired by the generous spirit of Bill Lark and Spike Dessert who believed so passionately in lending a helping hand to the next generation of Australian distillers. Thank you to Stu for maintaining the legacy of the giants whose shoulders you stood on.

    “I look forward to continuing your strong, reliable and committed leadership as we embark on the next chapter of our growth and embrace new opportunities to showcase incredible Australian spirits to an ever-growing and passionate Australian and global consumer base.”

    Holly is supported on the Australian Distillers Committee of Management by Vice President and Australian Distillers Hall of Fame inductee, Cameron Syme, and Secretary/ Treasurer, Stephen Parry of Pattex Distillery, who continue in their roles.

    The Association also welcomes new Committee members Cameron Mackenzie of Four Pillars (VIC), George Georgiadis of Never Never Distilling Co.(SA), Adam Pinkard of Adams Distillery (TAS) and Kate Sinfield of Sin Gin Distillery (WA).

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