Having enjoyed on-premise success with its Signature range of premium spirits, Archie Rose broke new ground last year, producing a new collection of accessible products designed for on-premise venues. Founder Will Edwards discussed the strategy with Australian Hotelier for the 2023 Annual Industry Leaders Forum.
“The explosion of local craft spirits is one of Australia’s great success stories of the past five years and this will continue over the next 12 months,” says Edwards.
And indeed, the last year has seen Archie Rose expand its own offering, with “the launch of a new Lemon Scented Harvest 2021 Gin, a handful of limited edition whiskies including Red Gum and Stringybark Smoked Single Malt Whiskies and White Cane, our Australian take on white rum.”
The new products and expanded range have been enabled by increased operations and production at Archie Rose’s Botany distillery, which began production in 2021.
“With our Botany distillery now fully operational, we have been able to focus on innovation without sacrificing production capacity, and better utilise our cold distillation techniques,” the founder adds.
“These contemporary techniques help drive improved spirit quality, showcase local and native ingredients, and bring Archie Rose spirits to more venues both across Australia and other places in the world.”
Given Archie Rose’s increased exposure to the on-premise, uncertainty around reopening at the start of 2022, and prolonged staffing issues in the hospitality sector, the last 12 months have brought some hurdles to be cleared.
“Like all businesses we’ve been navigating people’s return to venues, events and other channels that were closed or restricted this year, including our own venue as well as the challenges around staffing,” Edwards says.
“At the front end of the year  it was all still a bit uncertain which impacted how people were going out, but now we’re seeing more consistent habits in both on and off premise once again with all channels fully re-opened.”
New spirits for the on-premise
Most significant of the distillery’s achievements this year is the recent introduction of Archie Rose’s Fundamental Spirits series of entry level product.
“In October we launched a new product range called Fundamental Spirits, comprising Straight Dry Gin, True Cut Vodka, and Double Malt Whisky, it was created as a high quality, sustainably sourced, yet accessibly priced, local range of spirits,” Edwards says.
“Our goal with this range is to provide more Australians with the option to finally drink local instead of international spirits at a lower price point across our three major spirits categories.
“It’s a huge milestone for Archie Rose as a business to be bringing a more accessible and equally high quality range of spirits to a market that is still dominated by international brands across all categories.
“So it’s been really exciting to see some of Australia’s best pubs and bars such as Frog’s Hollow Saloon, White Oaks Saloon, Silverlake Social and Bad Frankie (to name a few) now featuring Straight Dry Gin and True Cut Vodka as Australian spirit first pours in the rail.”
Edwards is anticipating increased whisky production this year, which should ease the burden of supply issues.
“We’ll see the first whisky that was produced at our new distillery in Botany begin to reach maturity, which will allow us to remove it from strict ‘allocation only’ sales, and provide more venues with access to the highest quality Australian spirits as an alternative to international brands,” Edwards predicts.
“We can’t wait to continue educating venues about our spirits and the ingredients behind them as a baseline for producing people’s favourite cocktails and mixed drinks.”