Australia has become a land full of alchemists. The growth in distilling – whether its whisky, gin, vodka, rum or something else – is significant.
At The Whisky Academy, we get to meet all sorts of people who are either already in distilling, would like to work for a distillery or are planning at some stage to practice their own skill as an alchemist of a fine spirit. They join our courses, learn about distilling, do their own research and often commence their journey toward owning or working in a distillery.
Where do we find Australian spirits?
To give you an idea of where Australia’s existing distilleries and independent bottlers are located, we’ve built a map of Oz. We have 100 businesses on what we’re calling our Imperfect Map of Australian Distilleries & Independent Bottlers.
Our distilleries map imperfect because we have a bit of everything. A significant number of small emerging gin distilleries in Australia, a few non-distilling brands, some independent bottlers (blenders), alongside those distilleries that have built businesses to create spirit in-house. It seems that every day there are more starting up. We know of quite a few on their way and and have probably missed a few that already are operating.
In our case, we have included both distilleries and independent bottlers on the imperfect map. In some cases you will also find brands that may be created by other distilleries. If you would like to know the provenance story behind your favourite tipple (who made it, where it came from, do they have other spirits), then we encourage you to talk to the distiller (or the person who sold you the spirit) directly and ask them where it comes from. We haven’t endeavoured the capture the history of each spirit here. That might be a task for another day.
We’ll continue to update this distilleries map. So let us know if you your favourite one isn’t shown. We didn’t find any in the Northern Territory so let us know if you know something we don’t.
So is 96, 100 – or 120 a lot of distilleries? We think so. The modern industry in Australia is only 30 or so years old. Scotland in comparison lists 115 distilleries within its five main whisky making regions, Ireland which is still re-emerging from a lull in its industry lists 16, and Australia with somewhere between 95-120 distilleries (depending on your criteria – which in our case also includes some independent bottlers and brands as well).
If you want a really good list of Australian Distilleries – guys that have built their distilleries from the earth up – then we suggest you visit Nip of Courage for this list or the Australian Distillers Association. There is some criteria the industry likes to use around these classifications.