Bushfires see distilleries evacuated

09 January, 2020 by Andy Young

The bushfire crisis gripping Australia has impacted many different businesses, and this industry is no different, with wineries, breweries, cider-makers and distilleries all affected.

With many distilleries based in rural areas the threat of fires has seen many have to evacuate causing financial strain, not only from lost distilling time but also from tourist and wholesale income.

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Companies like Nip of Courage are working hard to help and Sales and Marketing Manager Kathleen Davies told National Liquor News it is now more important than ever to support Australian distillers.

“We have people’s entire livelihoods at risk,” Davies said. “Our local distillers are relying on sales to keep their businesses and their families afloat. While it may not be possible for us all to visit fire-affected regions at this stage, we can still show our support.”

Stony Creek Farm Distillery in Southern New South Wales had scheduled its first ‘Gin School’ program this month, but was forced to cancel that, leaving the distillery and business in limbo.

An emotional Gavin Hughes, who owns the distillery urged Australians to “support ravaged communities”.

Karu Distillery in Grose Vale, Craftworks Distillery in Capertee and Joadja Distillery in the Southern Highlands have all been forced to closed and evacuate, costing much-needed holiday season income as tourists stay away from fire-ravaged areas.

Reed & Co Distillery owners Hamish Nugent and Rachel Reed were forced to leave their distillery and restaurant and expect visitation to their area to be impacted for at least a further 10 weeks.

Nugent said: “We hope that people will return to the region once authorities have given the all clear. We hope that tourists will return and support local businesses as they have in the past so we may rebuild our community.”

Other impacted distilleries include Wildbrumby Distillery, forced to close on 2 January and National Liquor News understands that Hurdle Creek Milawa VIC and Riverbourne Jingera NSW are two further distilleries which may be under threat.

The best way to support these distilleries is to buy bottles from them now to help maintain an income and to visit their cellar doors, once it is safe to do so.

The team at Nip of Courage can really help you with which distilleries need our help, or simply Google any of the names listed above and visit their online stores to help them out.