The Victorian Government yesterday announced a $10m investment into distillery door grants over the next two years, a move welcomed by the Australian Distillers Association (ADA).

This investment will directly benefit the 104 distilleries located throughout Victoria, who buy produce from local farmers, attract tourists to the regions, and create jobs, both within their own operations and in the services and supply chains.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula said: “Jobs are driving our recovery from the global pandemic and we’re backing the industries and businesses that make our state tick.

“We’re not waiting for visitors to stumble across Victoria – we’re telling our great travel story across the state and across Australia, and eventually we’ll tell it again across the globe. We’re investing in tourism promotion because it means jobs for Victorians.”

Distillers across Victoria welcomed the news; Chris Pratt, Australian Distillers Association Victorian spokesperson and owner of Kilderkin Distillery in Ballarat, said: “This is wonderful news for Victorian craft distillers. We will be able to invest more in our distillery doors to encourage more people to sample Victorian spirits and enjoy a unique and innovative distillery experience leading to further employment opportunities in Victoria.

“We are very pleased the government has recognised the contribution of the craft spirits industry to the Victorian economy, especially in regional areas where many distilleries are based. We thank the Andrews Government for their ongoing support.”

Holly Klintworth from Bass & Flinders in Dromana, who has been operating a cellar door since 2014, added:

“We get 20,000 visitors to our distillery door every year and with this grant we hope to use the funds to reinvest into additional resources to improve our visitor experience. This announcement will drive more people to the Mornington Peninsula.”

Dave Irwin, President of Spirits Victoria Association and owner of Patient Wolf in Southbank Melbourne, described the announcement as a great result for Victoria’s producers and consumers.

“This significant grant program will help to grow a burgeoning spirits industry,” he said. “Spirit producers will be able to employ more people and positively impact the farmers and businesses that support them. More distillery doors will mean more consumers get to experience innovative products created by passionate people, and will enrich local tourism offerings.”

Stu Gregor, President of Australian Distillers Association and co-founder of Four Pillars in Healesville, said: “The announcement from the Andrews Government will mean more jobs for Victorians – especially in the regions and importantly, jobs that people will love. Craft distillers are passionate about the innovative and world class products they make.

“The ADA looks forward to working with the Andrews Government to ensure the program meets its stated objectives of supporting local jobs and investment in a financially responsible and sustainable way.”

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.

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