Tasmania now has more than 30 whisky or gin distilleries.
Our little island, with a land mass not dissimilar to Ireland has, a 10th the number of people and a very modern history of distilling. It some ways, we’d say it’s punching above its weight.
While we’re still very new, Tasmania is now the home of distilling in Australia. It is by no means that only place that whisky, gin, brandy, run or vodka distilling occurs but with a sizeable collection of distilleries (currently the highest number of any state in Australia) it has become the nation’s current home of spirits production.
It is probably no wonder then that it has also become the home of distilling education within Australia. We now run the Foundations Course, Certificate of Distilling course and the Scotland Study Tour.
The Tasmanian Whisky Academy started its life with the goal of connecting people who wanted to know about distilling, with those who knew about distilling.
Since the first course rolled out in November 2016, we’ve had over 160 people (or 160 potential distillers) come through our doors. They are people like you.
Whisky or gin lovers, office workers, tradespeople, retirees, visitors who want to check out the distilling scene, people who want to work in it, people who want to promote it, entrepreneurs and just about everyone in between. There is no one type of person who wants to be in distilling. It is a little bit of everyone.
What is common is probably two elements.
- DESIRE. The first is a desire to know more. This desire brings people to our doors, we introduce them to the world of distilling and a few people in the industry, connect them with ideas and knowledge and then encourage them to take the next step – whether that’s starting something new or changing their mind to do something else.
- PASSION. The second is passion. The passion drives their enthusiasm and desire. The passion to make something. The passion to do more, explore more, excel, experiment, create and research.
Our recent crew for our January Foundations course was no different. There was a tremendous Summer vibe that courses in January and February bring and our visits to Moo Brew Brewery, Sullivans Cove Distillery and Nonesuch Distillery we hope fired a passion in these students to explore what comes next. Our host for the day was Sullivans Cove Head Distillery Patrick Maguire and the man who took the distillery to World’s Best Whisky in 2014 – so a fellow who knows his stuff.
What did we learn?
About the business of distilling, the fundamentals of what a distillery looks like and what happens inside it. A bit about the wort, the wash, teh barrel and the still and of course what makes a great whisky and what does it taste like. Yes – probably the funnest part of the course.
Thanks to the great crew who joined us. We enjoyed every second.