Did you know that although Australia drinks about 38,000 litres of spirits a year*, less than 1% of that is Australian-made craft products?
But as you pick up a bottle of Aussie spirits or order a cocktail at a bar, imagine for a moment that you’re face to face with the distiller that made what you’re about to drink.
That’s almost how close you are when you buy Australian craft spirits.
And that’s not laying it on thick - it really is that personal.
Essentially, craft distillers are small businesses - often single-person operations. So the distillers see how much of their stuff is being consumed.
But far from being confronting, it’s an amazing connection we as consumers rarely get; to be able to know who’s made our gin, whisky or rum.
I mean whether it’s buying clothes, shopping for groceries or purchasing a new house, we hardly ever know who the tailor is, who grew or raised our food or who built our home.
From a provenance perspective, you can’t get much better than with Aussie craft spirits.
But where do Aussie craft spirits come from?
Apart from being small businesses, craft distilleries are often based in rural or remote areas.
I was lucky enough once to be in the same room as six Aussie craft distillers. We calculated they’d travelled a collective sum of 8,270km (5,139 miles) to be in Sydney at the same time. It took one distiller two full days to get there.
That’s how out of the way some of these distilleries are.
But taking local grains and botanicals - often foraged themselves - these distillers hand-craft their spirits from scratch. No funny business or weird additives.
Many like to use barrels either from nearby wineries or from an Aussie cooper, and pour their soul into every bottle.
Maybe that’s why it’s called 'spirit'.
So when we talk about Aussie spirits, there's a lot more of Australia in the bottle than just the dram.
Most importantly, with every drop of Australian craft spirits we buy, that money goes back to the distillery creating jobs in rural areas, supporting small communities and improving an Aussie industry that’s still quite young.
Bottom line, every time you buy a bottle - or even a single dram of craft spirits, your decision echoes back all the way to to the distiller. And they do a happy dance every time you drink.
And let’s face it: when you’re drinking Aussie craft, you’re drinking better too.
*Based on government statistics from 2017-18 fiscal year.