The $3m masterplan for Kangaroo Island Distillery

22 July, 2020 by Andy Young

Founders First Ltd (FFL), the brewery and distillery business accelerator, has outlined its plans for a $3m development for Kangaroo Island Distillery (KID), which include a new distillery and an upgraded cellar door.

FFL acquired KID in March this year, and its development project will see KID become a world-class distillery and a must-see tourism destination for the island from Spring 2021.

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The development will be completed in two stages, starting with the construction of the new distillery, including the addition of a third still, to increase the production capacity for the domestic and export market of the award-winning gin, vodka, and the soon to be released single malt whisky, the first to be made on Kangaroo Island.

The existing cellar door will also be upgraded to focus on serving visitors KID spirits and cocktails in the native botanical garden that is home to over 75 native species used in the making of the distillery’s botanical driven gins.

Founders First CEO Mark Haysman said he was delighted distillery founders Jon and Sarah Lark are staying with the company and that he was excited about this and other developments for KID.

“We are thrilled that Jon and Sarah will both continue as Chief Distillers and Brand Ambassadors, as they continue to innovate with new products – we are especially excited about the release of the island’s first whisky made using local malt and aged in port barrels, it will be available on very limited release later in the year,” Haysman said.

“We also have recently shipped over 120 cases of KIS Wild Gin and O’Gin to the emerging markets of Japan and Singapore and are looking to Europe where KIS O’Gin recently won the Contemporary Style Gin Trophy at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London – the only Australian brand to do so in its 50-year history.”

Jon Lark said he is looking forward to the new development: “It will add to the brand offering we have built over the past 15 years and will improve our ability to make our beautiful products, it will also enable us to welcome more visitors to experience our island hospitality,” he said.

Sarah Lark added: “This will enable us to offer more educational and interactive experiences, people will be able to have the opportunity to learn the art of gin making and creating cocktails from our KIS range in the new space.”

The second stage of the masterplan will introduce a commercial kitchen and potential plan for accommodation to cater for the overnight market.