Another amazing year for Nip of Courage and all of the wonderful distillers that we represent. Below are some of the highlights that we celebrated throughout 2019.
1. DRINK EASY
Nip of Courage's Kathleen Davies was invited to participate in the inaugural Drink Easy Awards as a judge and spirits ambassador. The Drink Easy Awards are a celebration of Australian drinks and the culture that surrounds brewing, distilling and fermenting. The aim of the awards is to bring together all streams of beverage creation in Australia and reward those at the apex of their craft. It is an egalitarian awards aimed at elevating collections of drinks that represent not only the notion of ‘high quality’ but the development and creativity found within their community.
The core aspiration of these awards is to educate a wide and inclusive community on what ‘drinks easy’ and where to find these drinks. The awards represent a new paradigm in their national scope with a broad and diverse range of judges, relevant criteria for judging and results that are readily and permanently available as references to consumers. Key to the Drink Easy Awards is common sense, detailed reporting of results and a collection of drinks that represent the excellence and charisma of beverages available from Australian producers.
The Drink Easy Awards will include a series of national events, tastings and educational gatherings with creative occasions arising regularly through the year.
The Drink Easy Awards are proudly in partnership with Broadsheet Media. Broadsheet Media represents a creative and informative platform to present the results of the Drink Easy Awards, allowing a broad-reaching dissemination of awards and recommendations by the Drink Easy Awards judging groups.
Photo Top: Drink Easy Founders Mike Bennie, Tamra Petruzzelli & Duncan Welgemoed.
Photo Left: Kathleen Davies - Nip of Courage
Photo Below; the Spirits Judging Team; Ellen Fraser, Fred Siggins, Head Judge Griff Blumer, Sharon Romeo, Kathleen Davies, Brendan Carter, Brian Ritchie, Drink Easy's Mike Bennie, Harriet Leigh.
2. THE AUSSIE SPIRIT PODCAST - SEASON ONE
Launched in November - Almost three years in the making!
Charting the rise of underdog craft distilleries in Australia. The Aussie Spirit series follows the journey of some of the 200 Australian distillers embracing local botanicals, crops and climates in order to craft some uniquely Australian Spirits. From award winning whisky, to gin, to vodka and rum, we hear from the farmers, the pioneers and the passionate distillers, all around Australia, who are putting the craft back into distilling.
The Aussie Spirit was produced in collaboration with Nip of Courage, Southern Cross Austereo and Podcastone.
Photo: Peter Bignell - Belgrove Distillery
3. NATIONAL AMBASSADOR PROGRAM
In May we rolled out an Ambassador program featuring bartenders from all over Australia. Abby Roennfeldt was recently selected to become our National Brand Ambassador.
Abby Roennfeldt / Just Abby
Owner of Hades Hula House - Tiki Bar & Restaurant SA
Abby is a competitive bartender, dancer, entertainer, mother of five and total babe...is there anything this woman can't do. Her creative energy and enthusiasm is inspiring and that's why she was selected to help us spread the word about Australian craft distillers.
Photo: Abby Roennfeldt
4. DRINKS CREATIVE
Quynh Van Nguyen joined the team as 'Drinks Creative' in July. This is a national role that works closely with our marketing team and side by side with our National brand ambassador program. Quynh is a well respected industry professional with a wealth of bartending experience in Australia and abroad. We are super excited to have him on board the Nip of Courage team.
Photo: Quynh Van Nguyen
5. SPEED RACK AUSTRALIA - SEASON 2
Speed Rack is an all-female high-speed bartending competition designed to highlight up-and-coming women in the cocktail industry and give back to those impacted by breast cancer. Speed Rack has raised $1,000,000 to date for charities all over the world supporting breast cancer research.
Members of the Nip of Courage team volunteered for events held in Adelaide and Melbourne. Stephanie Haile, Jemima McDonald & our very own Quynh Nguyen were the engine room behind the scenes making the second season such a success for all involved.
Congratulations to Millie Tan who took out the National title this year! Please back the rack in 2020!
Picture Above: All of the national finalists competing on the day.
Picture Right: Abby Roennfeldt and Quynh Nguyen at the Adelaide event
6. WHISKY WINE & FIRE
In July Nip of Courage's Kathleen Davies was selected to become the first female Whisky Ambassador for Whisky Wine & Fire Australia's largest consumer Whisky event held over 3 days with a total of over 12,000 attendees.
A tasting festival inside a fire garden, Whisky, Wine & Fire brings together some of the country’s most acclaimed Whisky and Wine producers with a host of providores & restaurants cooking using fire as both heat and theatre - think smoked meats, toe tapping beats and winter feasting. Celebrating bespoke makers and distinguished brands, Whisky, Wine & Fire includes talks, tastings and tips from leading whisky and wine makers.
Nip of Courage showcased;
- Belgrove Distillery
- Timboon Distillery
- The Aussie Tipple Company
Tim Tam Boon Slams were a huge hit!
Photo: Abby Roennfeldt & Kathleen Davies
7. REED & CO DISTILLERY LAUNCHES SPIRIT LAB RANGE
The Spirit Lab range was launched in August - One off distillates and collaborations.
A series of gin-based spirits that draw from Rachel & Hamish's distillery in Bright Victoria in every way – from ingredients they use to the people and businesses they’ve collaborated with.
Photo: Spirit Lab Range
8. TIMBOON DISTILLERY FEATURED IN THE T25 BARTENDER AWARDS 2019
T25 Bartenders is a celebration of 25 individuals who are recognised by their peers as exceptional in their field. Uniquely, the T25 are selected from votes made by industry professionals, venue owners and operators and their peers from across the country.
WA Bartender Emma Crisp featured Timboon Port Expression in a creation called 'Timbooch Hooch'. The cocktail was amazing.
Exciting times ahead for Timboon Distillery, they are powering ahead increasing production year on year. Distiller Josh Walker is about to commission a second still to help meet volume demand nationally and internationally.
Watch this space!
9. WOMEN OF AUSTRALIAN DISTILLING
Celebrating five years of promoting Women of Australian Distilling. We continue to promote and fly the flag for the minority of female distillers across the country. Thank you to everyone who has helped us support the cause.
We will be celebrating International Women's Day Sunday 8th March 2020 at Bloodwood Newtown NSW in partnership with Women in Hospitality - WOHO. Hope you can join us.
10. WAREHOUSE RECYCLING PROGRAM
You may or may not know but we manage our own bonded warehouse at our Sydney location. Nip of Courage team members Leanne Welch and Jess Lawrence worked on a project for our business to reduce landfill waste and promote recycling of recyclable materials. As a result the team reduced our landfill waste by 90%. We now recycle the following materials through separate recycling programs;
Paper / Carboard
Great work Leanne and Jess!
11. IMBUE DISTILLERY JOINS NIP OF COURAGE
Nip of Courage is pleased to announce the addition of another distillery to our portfolio. Imbue Distillery, located in Research VIC, produces both Australian Gin and Liqueurs making a unique addition to our portfolio.
We're excited to have husband and wife team on board Mel and Mick Sheard
12. STONE PINE DISTILLERY - GOING GREEN & DEAD MAN'S GOLD
ORANGE BLOSSOM GIN
Stone Pine Distillery launched their popular 'Orange Blossom Gin' seasonal release with a GREEN label to raise awareness for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Every GREEN label bottle of 'Orange Blossom Gin' sold Stone Pine Distillery is planting a tree in Australia.
This popular seasonal gin features orange blossom hand picked from Narromine NSW. It was a flagship gin created for Rene Redzepi's NOMA pop-up restaurant in Sydney back in 2016 and has been a favourite ever since.
DEAD MAN'S GOLD
With the success of Dead Man's Drop - Black Spiced Rum, Distiller Ian Glen decided to launch a gold spiced rum called Dead Man's Gold. It evokes the spirit of that era, marrying Barrel-aged solera rum aged for a minimum of 2 years with vanilla bean and macadamia nut.
13. AUSTRALIAN ANNUAL INDUSTRY LEADERS FORUM | NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
Nip of Courage founder Kathleen Davies was asked to present the challenges faced by the Australian craft spirits industry in the special annual edition of 'National Liquor News' - 'Australian Annual Industry Leaders Forum 2019'.
NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS - PAGE 54
14. BELGROVE DISTILLERY ALWAYS PUSHING THE LIMITS
Featured at this years Oak Barrel Whisky Fair. 'Bogan Burn-Out'...The most peated new make rye you will EVER taste...
It was like a kerosene jerrycan dipped in bonfire ash fueled by burnt rubber from the SUMMERNATS. Not for the faint hearted.
It came in a unconventional bogan size...120ml (3 bottles = 60ml + 30ml + 30ml)...don't ask why.
Distiller Peter Bignell was awarded 'Craft Producer of the Year' at the Icons of Whisky Awards. For one’s craftsmanship the end product must be of a very high standard. NOMA Restaurant from Copenhagen has been voted top restaurant in the world many times. When it installed its “pop up” in Sydney a couple of years ago it selected 5 of Belgrove’s products for its bar. Also World renowned Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible has scored 7 Belgrove whiskies as Liquid Gold in the last four years, and includes best whisky in the southern hemisphere 2019.
15. AUSTRALIAN DISTILLERS ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE 2019
The Australian craft distilling industry is one of the fastest growing and most diverse in the world. A multitude of styles are being made today in all corners of our glorious continent. The ADA is now the largest industry body that represents Australian Craft Distillers. The ADA held it's annual conference in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. Nip of Courage founder Kathleen Davies presented at the conference in front of 200 industry delegates on the challenges of spirits distribution across Australia.
Photo Left: ADA President Stu Gregor - Four Pillars
Photo Below: Distillery Tours
16. SPIRITS DISTRIBUTION WORKSHOP 2019
There are now over 200 craft distilleries combined they still have very small market share.
In November we held a workshop to help guide new or existing distilleries to create or improve distribution practices. The outlay of distilleries taking their spirits to market can account for anything up to 50% of their overall cost model.
We covered things like;
- Industry challenges & insights
- Distribution options
- Category management
- Strategic selling periods
17. DRINKS INNOVATION SUMMIT
Distiller Peter Bignell from Belgrove Distillery and Nip of Courage's Kathleen Davies were both guest speakers at Australia's first Drinks Innovation Summit hosted by Intermedia at the Hyatt Regency Sydney in October.
Approximately 1,000 members of the trade attended.
Intermedia have been wonderful supporters of Nip of Courage since 2013.
18. NIP OF COURAGE TEAM
We welcomed the following team members this year;
Customer Service - Jess Lawrence
National Brand Ambassador - Abby Roenndfeldt
Drinks Creative - Quynh Van Nguyen
Warehouse and Logistics Assistant - Lachlan Willmore
Design Assistant - Tai Welch
Warehouse Security - Betty
Thank you to all of our loyal supporters and customers in Australia and abroad, we couldn't do this without you.
So long 2019...
There are now over 200 registered craft distilleries across Australia. Approximately 90% of these craft distilleries are based in rural areas where the economies are fragile and the job opportunities are limited. Australians sadly drink 'less' than 1% of Australian made and owned spirits. We hope to help raise more awareness in 2020 and you can too by choosing or asking for Australian made and owned craft spirits when you buy from bottle shops or when you enjoy a drink at your local.
The Nip of Courage team was involved in a record 177 events & promotional activation's with both trade and consumers this year.
From all of the Nip of Courage team we wish everyone a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Stay safe over the holiday season and drink in moderation by drinking less but drinking better. Thank you for supporting our growing business and the distillers that we represent - you all rock x
Keep on supporting Australian Craft Distillers
- Kathleen Davies
Founder of Nip of Courage
Photo: Kathleen Davies - Nip of Courage