Start distilling with the Foundations course

distillery showing stills

The excitement of starting a distillery

Starting your own distillery. Creating something unique and beautiful. How exciting. But how easy or difficult is it?

Like any business, starting a distillery or brewery business takes a fair amount of thinking, planning, research and preparation before you get going.

The Whisky Academy, Tasmania’s Foundations of Distilling course is designed to help people navigate what can be a tricky transition to the distilling industry.

Lots of questions, multiple options

A distillery business is really like any other small business when you’re starting out. You need a business plan, you need to understand the market, know how much its going to cost to set up and then run the business, understand what skills you need and your responsibilities as a business owner.

What is different with a distilling business are:

  1. Understanding and acquiring the skills you need to be a distiller (and what a distilling business looks like from the inside), and
  2. Understanding the specific rules and compliance requirements that come with making alcohol and owning and operating a still, and the reporting and excise requirements with the Australian Tax Office and other authorities.

But these are just part of the journey, and as skills go, they can be acquired.

Crop of the Launceston Distillery still

How does the Foundations course fit in?

The Foundations of Distilling course will help people that are interest in distilling to understand just what goes on inside a distillery. Its a vital first step.

The course is delivered over one a bit days and takes in the theory of distilling, the milling, malting, mashing and fermenting component and then the distilling, maturing, bottling and tasting of spirit. More importantly, the course connects you to the industry. You get to know distillers and brewers and start your foray into the industry.

Will it be useful?

Our students think so. Of the students that have done the course around half of them have gone on to start businesses related to distilling. Not all of these are distilleries, some have started blogs, some bars, some are acting as suppliers now to the industry – so yes we’d say its useful. Check out our testimonials below.

What now? How do I book?

Check out the Foundations of Distilling page or book online.  If you have more questions, then give our Director Anne a call at The Academy.


      Sullivans Cove     Moo Brew logo    Nonesuch Distillery logo

“"The introduction provided a wonderful insight to the world of distilling. You follow the journey from grain to glass whilst stopping off at a few distilleries on the way. Hosted by industry leaders within award winning distilleries, this course is an essential step in the process of starting up your own distillery. To be surrounded by so much passion, expertise and knowledge was a real privilege and has given me the confidence to make the next step towards my own crafted spirit."”

March student

“"Good introduction to the field. Great source of inspiration. Outstanding professional networking opportunity."”

May student

“"What an incredible and educational experience. My colleague and I had a fantastic day with Anne very accommodating. The visit to Sullivan's Cover Distillery and Moo Brew were excellent, with Heather from Sullivan's Cove a superb and passionate presenter and host. Fantastic lunch and great conversations. I'd absolutely recommend this Course, whether you're an aspiring distiller or simply looking to learn more about Tasmania's great spirits."

May Student 2

“"We have well an truly changed our opinion on how we think we should enter the market and with what sought of equipment. Coming out of the course with more confidence that we are headed in the right direction. The course showed us that you dont have to have millions of dollars to create a brilliant product."”

January student