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Sullivans Cove Distillery receives $3.3m federal government grant for new distillery development.

Artist impressions of the Sullivans Cove Distillery development.

AN iconic Tasmanian whisky brand is soon to return to where its story began almost three decades ago, and now a federal government grant has given the project a shot in the arm.

Sullivans Cove Distillery is the recipient of $3.3m in funding to help build its new production facility on the Hobart waterfront.

The business, which is currently based at Cambridge, will also develop a new visitor experience at the Huon Quays site within the Sullivans Cove precinct.

Sullivans Cove Distillery managing director Adam Sable said a development application had been lodged with council, with hopes that construction would start by mid-next year.

Mr Sable said the $20m project would be divided into two components and would harness the rich heritage of the area.

“When we are building this new production facility, our obsession with quality in terms of our process will not only be maintained but even further enhanced,’’ he said.

“We’re not necessarily building the most efficient distillery, but we’re building one which we think will produce the best whisky.

“It will be a world-class distillery and visitor experience, and one that is consistent with where our product sits in the world whisky space.”

As one of Australia’s premier craft producer of single malt whisky and having won three ‘World’s Best’ titles at the World Whiskies Awards in 2014, 2018 and 2019 and many, many other accolades both locally and globally, Sullivans Cove liqueur is critically acclaimed.

“Tasmania continues to become a well-known and well-respected category in terms of world whisky, and I think our 2014 world’s best award was a watershed moment,’’ he said.

Tasmanian Senator and Assistant Minister for Industry Development, Jonathon Duniam, said the investment proved food and beverage innovation was alive and well in the state.

“The Sullivans Cove facility is expected to increase the workforce by approximately 40 per cent as well as provide opportunities to upskill at least 15 existing employees,’’ he said.

“With help from the Australian Government, this project will deliver employment opportunities for local people right here in Tasmania, as well as an estimated 24 indirect jobs throughout the supply chain.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the $33m in total funding was part of the latest round of the $1.3b Modern Manufacturing Initiative.

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said the grants would bolster the food and beverage sector and unlock further investment. Food and beverage production is the largest manufacturing sector in Australia, employing one in four manufacturing workers and contributing around $22.4 billion to our economy.

“This funding will help some of the most innovative producers leverage technology to increase their production, while meeting growing export demand and creating new local jobs,” Minister Taylor said.

Sullivans Cove Distillery is the second oldest whiskey distillery in Tasmania and was established in 1994 at the old brickworks at Sullivan Cove. By 2007, Sullivans Cove began to gain international recognition with their American Oak winning Best Other Malt at the World Whiskies Awards and Liquid Gold (95/100) in Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible.

Sullivans Cove whiskies are aged in full-sized American oak ex-bourbon or French oak ex-tawny casks. It makes their spirits rich and rustic, needing a long maturation period in the unique Tasmanian climate – typically between eight to eighteen years. After the spirit comes to age, the artisans will sample the liquid to test whether it is ready to bottle. Once the samples are taken from the casks, the distillers dilute each bottle to strength, label, log and evaluate them. It is the intimate knowledge and art of alcohol making that is key to getting the taste just right.

Beyond whisky, Sullivans Cove also collaborated with the Tasmanian wine industry in the Huon Valley, using a 100 per cent Tassie grapes to produce both single cask and vatted brandy expressions.

Sources: Business Tasmania: Sullivans Cove Distillery gets federal government funding for development | The Mercury Cameron Whiteley The Hon Angus Taylor MP. 2021. Securing Australia's economic recovery. [online] Available at: Young, M., 2021. Two exciting paths for Australian whisky - The Shout. [online] The Shout. Available at: <> Young, M., 2021. Sullivans Cove eyes Asia-Pacific expansion in Proof & Company partnership - The Shout. [online] The Shout. Available at: Sullivans Cove Distillery. 2021. The Importance of Cask Selection - Sullivans Cove Distillery. [online] Available at: <>

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