South Australia’s soaring spirit production has seen Adelaide win the World Whiskies and Spirits Conference, the first time the event has been held outside Scotland, London or New York.

World Whiskies and Spirits 2017, taking place in August in Adelaide, will be the first gathering of spirits and whisky industries throughout the Asia Pacific region and will include analysis of local and international product, importing and exporting, production, marketing, finance and development. The event will return in 2019 and 2021. Adelaide will also host the Australian Craft Brewers Conference (ACBC) in 2017, showing its diversity as a rapidly growing craft beer producer.

CEO of Adelaide Convention Bureau Damien Kitto said: “The Adelaide Convention Bureau is thrilled these two events have chosen Adelaide as their host destination. South Australia’s wine regions are of course internationally famous – what’s not so well known is our rapidly increasing craft beer, cider and spirits industry.

“Agriculture is a massive contributor to the state economy which apart from export, lends itself perfectly to local spirit and cider production. Local investment in the drinks industry across beer, cider and spirits is exceptionally healthy and we’re producing some fantastic world class products.”

Australia’s healthy agriculture and viticultural industries and reputation for producing premium food and beverage has seen the whisky industry grow steadily over the past two decades. The spirit manufacturing industry has benefited from a consumer trend towards premium spirits made with locally-sourced, high quality and high value ingredients. Premium spirits accounted for around 34 per cent of spirit industry export revenue in the most recent Deloitte Agribusiness Bulletin, up from 29 per cent in 2010-11, with whisky the fastest growing spirit export.

There are now around 30 whisky distilleries across Australia, many of which concentrate around small batch offerings. However, investment in the industry is increasing, with the likes of spirits giant Diageo investing through vehicles such as Distill Ventures which ‘mentors and invests in new and growing independent spirits brands’.  
The growth in craft beer and whisky industries is also giving rise to new innovation, such as Macquarie barley, a new variety of barley developed and owned by the University of Tasmania and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (in conjunction with the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture) specifically targeting the malt barley market due to its superior malting quality, improved disease resistance and favourable yield. At least three other new barley varieties are aiming for malt accreditation in coming seasons.

Ken Bromfield of World Whiskies and Spirits Conference said: “Adelaide’s existing drinks industry along with its trends toward spirit production made it an ideal destination for the first World Whiskies and Spirits Conference outside the UK and USA. That we’ve committed for three events over six years speaks volumes about how excited we are to bring global leaders in the industry to what we feel will be an increasingly important destination for the genre.”

The event will be hosted by the Adelaide Convention Centre and organised by the Whisky Live Australia team,with the support of the State Government of South Australia through its Major Events Bid Arm.

Damian Riley-Smith, conference director, added: “The global spirits business continues to surge and the Whiskies & Spirits Conference offers a unique environment in which to learn from the best to harness growth and development of this critical industry sector.”


(via, The DrinksReport, Deloitte)
Featured image via Drinks Bulletin