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South East Asia's Biggest Distillery

'The Manildra Group' they had me at '100% Australian and family-owned'. Today I was invited to tour the brand new seven-column distillery at Manildra's Nowra plant with Debra Forster, Head of Ethanol - Commercial & Logistics.

The new distillery is 42 metres tall run by state of the art technology. It creates 100 per cent pure Australian, grain-neutral spirits for craft distilleries from premium GMO-free wheat. This neutral spirit is essentially the base spirit for quality gin and vodka produced in Australia.

It was wonderful to meet the Chairman Dick Honan whose father originally founded the business in 1952. I would describe Dick as a man with a dry sense of humour and a genuine passion for Australia. He spoke about the devastating effects the extended dry period has had on their rural producers, suppliers and customers. Hearing the stories of Manildra's commitment to their farming partners during this tough time brought a tear to my eye, as this is something close to my heart.

The impressive plant has a zero waste output which is bloody amazing! Things like the CO2 gases produced are used as carbonation in soft drinks, the husk of the wheat is used to make pellets for livestock, the water is fully recycled, and the list for waste usage goes on.

'The Sensory Lab' is one of the newest additions to the plant where customers can nerd out, taste, smell and view the quality of the grain spirits under certain conditions including light. The lab now has the equipment to measure contaminants at parts per billion (ppb). Because of this Manildra has mastered a truly neutral-tasting and odourless premium grain spirit as a ‘blank canvas’ base used by Aussie craft distillers.

If you are a start-up distillery looking to make a 'grain based' gin or vodka, make sure you check out the premium neutral spirit base at the Manildra Group.

The Manildra Group

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Manildra Group is a family owned Australian group of companies, uniquely integrated as a diverse international agribusiness, employing over 1200 people. The far-reaching group is committed to adding value to Australian industries by developing, manufacturing, and delivering innovative products. As a 100% Australian owned company, they are driven to contribute to our nation’s export of superior products, manufactured by their strong and sustainable domestic industries. The influence of the group is great in both geography and the range of industries Manildra produce supplies, from; food to pharmacy, fuel and energy, building to brewing and more. Constant innovation for 65 years and a commitment to investment in regional Australia now means every Australian will consume something from the diverse portfolio of products derived from the group. Manildra Group prides themselves on being unrivaled in quality for a global market. Their Australian made ingredients are supplied to customers of all sizes from small bakeries to major corporations with some of the most recognised brands in the world. The flour mill in Manildra, New South Wales, where the company originated, is now the largest flour mill in Australia. Today, they mill enough flour in one second for 100 loaves of bread, processing over one million metric tonnes of wheat per annum – almost one-sixth of NSW’s total annual production. The Manildra Group is one of the two largest exporters of containers through Sydney’s main port. They export to over 38 countries on every continent and domestically transport their products to more than 5000 locations across the nation


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