As a leading wholesaler of Australian craft spirits, Nip of Courage is committed to being a one-stop-shop for Australian products. Celebrating its 10th birthday, 2023 saw the expansion of market presence through new distribution channels, and diversification of its product range.

Since Nip of Courage first began operating, there has been a general shift in consumer preferences towards craft and artisanal products, and Founder Kathleen Davies says the spirits industry is no exception, creating a favourable environment for Aussie craft spirits to thrive.

“Retail consumers and trade are increasingly interested in the story behind the products they consume. Aussie craft spirits, with their focus on using locally sourced ingredients and traditional production methods, align well with this demand for authenticity and connection to the land.”

With many Australian spirits producers putting an emphasis on provenance, Davies says commitment to sustainability has also resonated with consumers.

“Craft distilleries in Australia, at the forefront of flavour innovation and experimentation, are known for pushing boundaries, using native botanicals and incorporating indigenous ingredients to create distinctive flavour profiles, which has captured the attention of consumers.

“There’s also growing awareness and concern among consumers about sustainability and ethical practices. Aussie craft spirits have the advantage of being able to prioritise sourcing, eco-friendly packaging and supporting local communities.”

Creating conversation

As consumers become more appreciative of locally made spirits, Davies says the industry should prioritise sustainability and discuss ways to reduce environmental impact.

“This includes exploring eco-friendly production methods, sustainable sourcing of ingredients and implementing responsible waste management practices. Collaboration and knowledge-sharing on sustainable practices can help drive positive change across the industry.”

Similarly, Davies feels that industry-wide discussions are key to addressing issues within the regulatory landscape, as well as promoting meaningful engagement and collaboration with Indigenous communities.

“Discussion around the regulatory landscape is crucial to ensure compliance and maintain industry standards. We need reform for spirits excise, labelling and production regulations for new and emerging Australian spirit producers.

“Engaging in dialogue with regulatory bodies like the Australian Distillers Association and ABAC can help shape policies that support the growth and development of the industry.

“Discussions should also focus on fostering respectful relationships, acknowledging and respecting Indigenous knowledge and cultural practices, and exploring opportunities for collaboration and economic empowerment.

“This dialogue can help create a more inclusive and culturally aware industry. Brands like Seven Seasons are doing a wonderful job of promoting cultural change and diversity within the Australian community.”

Cheers to 10 years

Reflecting on the 10-year anniversary, Davies says the milestone marks a decade of growth, challenges and accomplishments.

“Since 2013, Nip of Courage has established a strong presence in the Australian spirits industry. From the initial range of spirits in 2013, we have introduced new and innovative products, collaborating with local distilleries to showcase a broader selection of Australian spirits.

“As Nip of Courage has grown, we’ve gained recognition within the Australian spirits industry, through global awards, industry partnerships and positive media coverage, [which] solidifies our position as a leader in the emerging Australian craft spirits industry, [and our contribution] to raising consumer awareness of Australian spirits.”

This article originally appeared in the 2024 Leaders Forum issue of National Liquor News.

Deborah Jackson

Deb joined Intermedia in 2015 as Editor of National Liquor News and Deputy Editor of The Shout. Since then, she has also worked as the Editor of Beer & Brewer and the New Zealand title, World of Wine....

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