Welcome to your guide to some of the most amazing distilleries in Australia! Have you been wanting to learn more about spirits, gin and whisky production? Or perhaps you’re just curious as to what goes on inside a distillery and how they produce such delicious drinks.
Whatever it is that’s piqued your interest, here you’ll find essential info on what makes these places special – plus some of the top-notch Australian distilleries you must visit for an unbeatable experience. With this blog post, we will take a deep dive into the mysterious world of distilleries and let you know why these unique places are definitely worth exploring.
Let’s get started!
Is It Profitable To Own Your Personal Distillery?
If you take into account the expense of holding your stock in oak barrels for years as you wait for it to develop into sippable whisky, then brewing is the more productive and less costly of the two processes. Distilling, on the other hand, generates more revenue per unit of product. Because of this, distilleries typically begin their operations by producing white (unaged) whisky, vodka, or gin.
Is It Permissible To Distil Alcohol At Home In Australia?
Whether for “personal use” or for selling, it is against the law in Australia to create alcohol using a still of any size without first obtaining a “excise manufacturer’s licence.” This applies whether the alcohol is intended for “personal use” or for selling. The ATO is the entity responsible for issuing manufacturer licences for excise charges (free application).
The One Piece of Distilling Equipment That You Should Without a Doubt Acquire
There’s really one expense that you must be aware of, and you must reserve as much money as is necessary in order to develop a business of any kind that you would like to establish.
This is considered to be legal advice.
If you get entangled in legal problems, you might have a terrific item, but you will not be allowed to utilise it – certainly not legally. Because of this, you would like to make absolutely certain that you’ve got things scheduled legally before you move forwards with anything.
Starting Your Distillery With What You Have
Be mindful of the potentially large costs associated with marketing, as well as the cost of necessary equipment and legal services. For example, some advisors have said that in order to launch and sell a new distillery in an appropriate manner, you will need up to four million dollars.
Having said that, this is more the exception than the rule, so take it with a grain of salt.
A new distillery can be established even on a meagre budget if the appropriate business plan is developed and implemented. You can begin distilling gin or whisky reasonably fast and at a minimal price if you purchase a still that is available for a reasonable price.
How to Make the Right Selections When Purchasing Equipment for Your Distillery
1. Mash Tuns or Cereal Cookers
Whereas many individuals will consider this to be an indispensable feature, there are still some individuals who still need to see the necessity for this particular piece of apparatus, at least not right away. Although it is possible to technically cook in a still, most stills really aren’t constructed to bear the rigours of such an endeavour.
If you select the option to have a false bottom installed, the mash tuns can be utilised for washing the grain, and independent of which installation method you go with, they simplify the process of working with the grain.
Because the structure of a still kettle is not often suited for addition and combining solids, possessing a piece of machinery that was developed with this specific purpose in mind might make the process significantly simpler. As a side point, consider how you pack the gear and move the grains.
Also, think about how you move the grains. Carrying bags that weigh fifty pounds up and down ladders is going to be quite taxing pretty quickly. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of having a grain elevator right next door. These are potentially quite large pieces of machinery.
It is common knowledge that they are essential. Still, it is surprisingly simple to run out of them before you have sufficient quantities on hand to provide you with the freedom to use a variety of fermentation procedures according to the type of product you are producing.
The debate over whether to wear a jacket or not is mostly determined by factors such as the size of the wearer and the temperature of the environment. When the system reaches a particular size, it is beneficial to put on a jacket in order to maintain a cool temperature during the fermentation process.
3. Blending/Mixing Tanks
Although it is possible to remove spirits off your still at barrel or bottling power for several different products, this is not possible for vodka, and it is very challenging to keep the proof consistent during a run. It is pretty crucial to have mixing containers in order to put out a product that is continuous, and if your product is really not constant, you won’t get satisfied customers on a constant basis.
4. Hot/Cold Liquor Tanks
These can assist in shortening the time you spend mashing, as well as the amount of time you spend heating up on your completing run if you dilute after your stripping run. CLTs can assist in easing the strain placed on your chiller and let you run without heavily taxing your chiller, which means that they can help you conserve cash by giving you a longer time before you need to update your chiller.
5. Collection Vessels
Your distillate must be kept in a secure location, and although you could keep it in the same container that you use for blending and combining, doing so would take those containers out of service and might not be the most efficient utilisation of your funds. These typically come equipped with wheels or some form of mobility, allowing you to relocate various aspects of your operation to various places.
6. Pumps and Hoses
Although they are simple to ignore, they have the potential to dramatically cut down on the amount of labour and handling required. You may be able to avoid some troubles by pumping the mash straight from your mashing gear into the fermentation vessel, provided that the devices you are using are up to the task you have assigned to them.
Maintenance Procedures for Safe Operation of Distillery Machines
Appropriate safety upkeep for distillery gear ought to be at the forefront of one’s thoughts. We went over this topic in relation to forklifts because we understand how important it is to be familiar with your machinery and to keep complete and accurate safety logs.
Nevertheless, this is only a small portion of an all-encompassing safety programme, and while we won’t be capable of covering it all in a single blog post, we will be extending our prior efforts to put you nearer to an all-encompassing safety programme. Be certain to visit the local municipality to ensure that you are in accordance with local laws before you make a decision that may permanently affect your situation.
There are just too many one-of-a-kind scenarios that could arise, and it would be difficult to address all of them here. However, we are trying to make an effort to get you wondering about some frequent application scenarios.
It is important to keep an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) on hand, and it is equally important to ensure that your stock is inspected regularly to ensure that it is in good working condition. It is simple to forget about vital personal protective equipment (PPE). When you are attempting to do a dextrous job and must concentrate, it could be more enjoyable to utilise the tiny plastic gloves on a large hand, or conversely. This can be frustrating.
In addition to this, you should inspect all of the fixed equipment that you have. Eyewash facilities, as well as fire control gear, such as extinguishers and sprinklers, if you possess them, need to be inspected on a routine basis to ensure that they are in good working condition. They are only required to be employed in extremely rare circumstances. Still, when they are, it is really essential that they function correctly since failure to do so might make an already challenging circumstance much, much worse.
Fire protection and having a knowledge of the “sombrero of death” are 2 factors that distillers of all degrees should be mindful of. Both of these things relate to situations that we pray would never occur in a distillery.
If you’re not aware of the term “sombrero of death,” it refers to the danger zone that exists surrounding gear when working with dangerous gases that are thicker than air. This zone is known as the “sombrero of death.” If there is a leak, the gases will pool near to the ground and may form a layer surrounding the gear that may resemble a sombrero in appearance. When concentrated, these gases can provide a danger zone, and when combined with ethanol, they can also produce a fire risk.
Any pieces of machinery that aren’t certified as being explosion-proof are required to be kept outside of this zone. The location of the area in the sombrero will be determined not only by the dimensions of your gear and the space in which it is situated but also by the standards of safety established by the governing body in your community. The last aspect is perhaps the most important, and you should always verify with your local authority to ensure that you are in conformity with their regulations. Because they are the ones authorising your licences, you must keep them satisfied.
Inadequate attention is often paid to storage, which is another aspect of security that can be included in that group. Even if we are holding liquid products, the storage facility is at risk of being destroyed by the sombrero of death. Even the empty space inside the tank has the potential to hold a higher percentage of ethanol than you might think it would, particularly in warmer temperatures.
Appropriate storage vessels are also essential; while plastic transition totes can be used to transport high-proof ethanol, these totes really are designed for short-term keeping and should not be used for that purpose. Nevertheless, having the right equipment for the task is important because it may make a tremendous distinction, and having the right signs can help individuals understand what they’re getting into.
These are just some of the things you should be thinking about in terms of safety and getting your area ready for functioning and potential examinations in the future. Constantly be certain to check with the law-making organisations to ensure that your business is in accordance with the regulations and that you are being as active as is humanly possible. It is a lot simpler to get things correct the first time around than it is to make adjustments when a system is already operational.
The Long Game of Producing on a Large Scale
If you are setting lofty goals and intend to manufacture products in vast quantities and on a massive scale, you will have to be well-off in terms of investing dollars… and patient.
Until you begin to see a return on your investments from large-scale whisky production, it might be anywhere from 3 to 5 years before you distribute any of your product. In addition, if you intend to produce on a large scale, you will require ageing facilities, promotion, and perhaps even sampling rooms.
The marketing aspect is yet another crucial determinant, and you’ll need to be certain that you are making the most of both your work and your expenditures as much as is humanly possible.
Bottle Design Hack
It would appear that each new distiller desires their own unique bottle design. To put that in perspective, a bottle mould can range between $20,000 to $70,000. So for something to be profitable, you would be required to produce a significant quantity of bottles (and sell a lot of products).
Now, here’s a quick and easy tip.
There are certain manufacturers of bottles that might have extra prototypes lying around that the market has never shown any interest in purchasing. In reality, they have already constructed the mould; at this point, it is merely gathering dust.
Therefore, consider contacting them in order to get potentially one-of-a-kind bottles. In this manner, you will be able to obtain a one-of-a-kind bottle mould without having to fork over the cash necessary to pay for the costly manufacturing procedure.
This little tip could assist you in saving thousands of dollars.
Australia Is Stepping Things Up In The Distillery Game
1. Beachtree Distilling Co – QLD
Even though it has only been around for a short while, the Caloundra-based company Beachtree Distilling Co. is already building a name for itself in the Australian gin industry. At the 2022 New York World Spirits Competition, the modern Queensland company was given a double gold medal for its Organic Native Skippy Gin. The scrumptious drop is crowded with native herbal extracts such as strawberry gum, lemon myrtle, finger lime, kakadu plum, native pepper berries, and quandong. The company was founded in 2020.
2. Tinberry Distilling Co – SA
Tinberry Distilling Company has got you handled if you’re looking for gins that are simple and easy to drink. Their Signature Gin is going to become your new go-to gin because of its delicately sweet, lemony, and floral characteristics, as well as its undertones of lavender, cinnamon, and a citrous explosion.
It was the only Australian gin to reach double gold at the 2022 Singapore World Spirits Competition, where it also won double gold. In addition, it received double gold at the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In addition to that, it was honoured with a gold medal at the Tasting Australia Spirit Awards in 2022.
3. Forty Spotted – TAS
The water in Tasmania is unpolluted and wild, which may be one of the factors that contributes to the state’s reputation for producing some of the most flavorful and distinctive gins in the country. And the ‘wildly beautiful’ Tasmanian gin produced by Forty Spotted is hardly an exception.
This bottle manufacturer, which has been given the name of the island’s most endangered bird, the Forty-spotted Pardalote, and is manufactured at the Lark Distillery, which has won numerous awards, is causing more than a few feathers in the market to stand on end.
At the 2022 Spirits Business Gin Masters, Forty Spotted was given two Master medals: the first medal was for its Wild Rose Gin, which is described as having the aroma of a bunch of roses, violets, and fairy-pink musk sticks; the other one was for its Citrus & Pepperberry Gin, which is described as having a vibrant citrous and pepperberry flavour.
4. Seppeltsfield Road Distillers – SA
Silky smooth is not a descriptive term that is given out generously when it happens to come to spirits, but this was the foundation for Seppeltsfield Road Distillers, having scored a few big wins for their Barossa Shiraz 2021 Gin. At the 2022 International Wine & Spirits Competition, the shiraz-flavoured gin received a score of 99 points, and the judges said that the combination of the grapes and grains was spectacular.
Their Musician’s Cut Gin came in second place, just one point behind the winner, and it also won a gold medal at the 2022 International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) with 98 points. The South Australian distillery’s run of good luck extended at The Global Spirits (Gin) Masters Competition 2022 when their Native Ground Gin was awarded the most prestigious medal possible, a Masters, in the Modern class.
5. Mt Uncle Distillery – QLD
Include the Botanic Australis Navy Strength Gin produced by the Mt. Uncle Distillery in Queensland on your must-try list if you are a fan of gin that packs a bit more of a punch than the average bottle.
It was granted 99 points at the 2022 International Wine Spirits Competition, making it one of the only five gins in the world to earn a nearly flawless score. The distinctively dry, gold medal-winning drop has hints of citrous, sweet pine, ginger, pepper berry, and bunya nut. It was awarded the title Gin of the Year in 2021.
6. Gindu – VIC
Two of these Victorian distillery’s gins, A Coastal Gin and An Australian Dry Gin, brought home coveted awards at the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Contest, making this tiny Victorian distillery a two-time double gold winner. Gindu’s A Coastal Gin is the product of a happy union between morning lime, rainforest rosemary, saltbush, and saltbush berries.
An Australian Dry Gin is characterised by its complex flavour profile, which combines sun-dried wattle, saltbush, and anise with zesty lime, undertones of mandarin orange, and spices. In addition, the 2021 Australian Gin Awards deemed it the Best in Class for Classic Dry Gin.
7. Turner Stillhouse – TAS
If you are searching for the ideal spirit to enjoy over the holiday season, go no further than the Turner’s Stillhouse Three Cuts Gin – Barrel Rested, which was awarded a gold medal. This limited run from the Tasmanian tiny distillery Turner Stillhouse is the perfect addition to your Gin Buck (gin, ginger ale, squeezed lemon juice) cocktail recipes during the holiday season due to its notes of Christmas cake, coffee, cinnamon, plum, and baked orange. It is available for a limited time only.
Provided that their multiple-award-winning Founder’s Release gin serves as the foundation spirit for their Barrel Rested version, it should not be surprising that their aged gin, matured in pinot noir storage tanks, was awarded the title of Best Matured Gin at the 2022 Australian Gin Awards. It should come as no surprise at all. In addition, it was given a gold medal in the International Wine Spirits Competition 2022 after receiving 96 points overall in the contest.