Launched on December 11, Drink Victorian is a government-supported program to get more locally-made drinks into venues and the glasses of customers.

Produced by the Victorian Drinks Alliance (VDA) and the Victoria State Government, Drink Victorian will run initially as a six month pilot scheme, in partnership with a hundred of the state’s leading producers, bars and restaurants.

Announcing Drink Victorian, Anthea Loucas Bosha, Co-Chair of the VDA, said: “Whether you’re enjoying a drink with friends at home or out in the city’s amazing bars, pubs and restaurants, Drink Victorian is here to highlight that, whatever your favourite tipple, there’s a local option that stacks up against the best in the world.”

The program is partly designed to counteract the declines in exports faced by Victorian producers in the wake of the pandemic and related supply-chain issues.

Minister for Agriculture, The Hon. Mary-Anne Thomas said: “Over the past two years, the industry has been doing it tough, starting from the bushfires, COVID-19 and ongoing trade challenges.

“Victorian drinks producers are some of the best in the world and we’re thrilled to be working with the Victorian Drinks Alliance on a program that will further strengthen Victoria’s passion for locally made drinks and highlight our diverse drinks producers.”

Some of Melbourne’s most influential and high profile venues have joined the program, including Byrdi, Capitano and Grossi Florentino. Blackhearts & Sparrows, one of Victoria’s foremost independent drinks retailers, is highlighting its collection of Victorian drinks as part of the Drink Victorian initiative.

A number of industry events are being planned by the VDA, including tastings, and ‘knowledge-building’ trips to both metro and regional drinks-makers. As VDA Co-Chair Angie Bradbury says, the program is “more than just a showcase of Victorian drinks, it’s about building relationships between Victorians and our drinks producers.”

The climax of the program will be a two-day event in early 2022, forming part of the Melbourne food & Wine Festival. The event will showcase the state’s drinks producers and ‘drinks experiences’, with full details to be announced in the new year.

Drink Victorian will run until May 2022, and a map of participating venues can be found here.

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