The rise and rise of Australian spirits on the global stage is showing no signs of slowing with the 2023 International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) naming Four Pillars and Grainshaker International Gin and International Vodka Producer of the year respectively.

It is the third time that Four Pillars has received the award, a record for any distillery, having previously won in 2019 and 2020.

For Grainshaker the award comes just three years after the Melbourne distillery was launched and catapults the brand onto the world stage. CEO at the maker of Grainshaker Vodka, Top Shelf International, Trent Fraser said the award is an acknowledgment of the company’s unwavering commitment to excellence.

“This really is the gold medal for the global spirits industry, and we couldn’t be prouder. The win is a testament to our entire team’s hard work, passion, and relentless pursuit of perfection,” said Fraser.

“It’s our mission to transcend Australian Spirits culture both here and abroad. We are embarking on this journey by creating pioneering and fearless brands. There is real momentum and as we look forward, there is much to be excited about.

“We want to be part of the cultural fabric and win our home market. We’ve got a loyal and strong customer base here in Australia, but this win will help us expand into international markets like Asia and the USA who will also appreciate our vodka, not to mention help put Australia on the map as a global spirits powerhouse,” he added.

Grainshaker beat 200 producers including global giants Whiteclaw and Anora PLC to take home the top prize and speaking on behalf of the judges, David T. Smith described the vodka as “a stylish and versatile spirit. Light in body and gently warming, the palate shows great purity. Fresh citrus notes provide lift and balance amid the creamy mouthfeel. Very smooth offering showing good character on the finish”.

Gin was the biggest category at this year’s IWSC, highlighting just how impressive Four Pillars’ win really is, beating more than 4000 entries from distilleries across the globe, with Australia’s Kangaroo Island Spirits and Sweden’s Herno Gin were the other two distilleries on the final shortlist.

Co-Founder and Distiller Cameron Mackenzie, who was on hand to accept the award, said: “Back in 2013, we set out with the ambition to make world-class gin, so to win this award three times is simply mind-blowing. I kind of knew we had a chance when two of our gins scored 98 points (out of 100) but kept it on the lowdown until last week when I dusted off the kilt.

“It’s a massive thrill for our team back at home and for the Australian spirits industry overall, and even sweeter that Four Pillars celebrates 10 years of making gin this December.

“Cheers also goes to our friends at Kangaroo Island and Herno who have also been consistently shortlisted and awarded.

“I can’t wait to get home to share the spoils with all our mates in Healesville and frankly right across Australia all summer.”

Christelle Guibert, CEO of the IWSC said, “We are delighted to see Four Pillars take home our International Gin Producer Trophy for a third time. Our judges were greatly impressed by the sheer work the brand has taken on, as well as the medal-winning gins they are creating.

“The commitment to their sustainability efforts did not go unnoticed when they were awarded our inaugural Green Spirit Initiative Trophy last year, and this year was no different, our judges were unanimous in their vote for Four Pillars as the worthy winner of this year’s IWSC International Gin Producer Trophy. The brand’s success in the IWSC sees no sign of slowing down.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *