It’s time to really celebrate Australian craft spirits

Let’s face it, we all want 2020 to do one. Australian craft spirit producers have been hit really hard this year with bushfires, COVID and travel restrictions having a huge impact on sales.

These are the people who are striving to have Australian spirits recognised both nationally and internationally, and the ray of hope they have at the moment is that Australian consumers, in the current environment will start championing local products.

One company who is looking to help Australia’s craft spirits producers is Nip of Courage, with Kathleen Davies and her team working on improving consumer confidence within the Australian market, after having to completely overhaul how they do business because of the pandemic.

“We have learned that we all need to adapt to stay afloat,” Davies said. “It is absolutely necessary to be dynamic and creative during these times.”

She told Bars and Clubs: “I’m hoping the good thing that might come out of COVID is that people become more conscious of Australian made-Australian owned. I do feel that our industry does need to jump up and down and tell people that as well.

“I’m just trying to figure out exactly how we can do it and I think the resources in our industry are very limited. Hopefully for the size of company we are, we’ve got a fairly big voice and we’ll always try our best to get that message out there.”

One thing they’ve started to do is online events and tastings, which are open to the trade as well, and which will connect venues with Australia’s spirit producers. The aim here is to help staff understand the spirits and products so they can in-turn inform consumers and help grow local knowledge and consumption of these incredible products.

“We’ve also sat in on a lot of industry virtual events as well and thought about what direction we want to take,” Davies said. “For example there are a lot of online whisky classes available right now that are aimed at people who already know a lot about whisky.

“So we feel there is an opportunity to do some whisky 101 classes, and in July we are doing an Introduction to Rye masterclass. There are a lot of people who want to learn about whisky but don’t want to feel dumb, so we thought there is an opportunity there.

“We think there are a lot of bars and bartenders who might not know a lot about some of these amazing Australian whiskies, so this is an opportunity to find out more. Whether it’s someone new to the industry, or somewhere that is not a specialist whisky bar, we wanted to give the trade the chance to ask whatever questions they want of the distillers.”

Nip of Courage has over 80 projects rolling out over the next three months as it looks to help distilleries impacted by bushfires, COVID and travel restrictions. In spite of all these challenges so far thrown up in 2020, Davies remains positive.

“There is so much opportunity and this pandemic has changed the way we do everything, so it’s going to be survival of the fittest and that goes for distributors, distilleries, bars, restaurants, everything. But there is so much potential for Australian spirits.”

Nip of Courage is the first distributor to represent 100 per cent Australian made and owned craft spirits. It is also the first female-owned and run spirits distribution company in Australia. To get involved with Kathleen and the team email kathleen@nipofcourage.com.

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