South Australia’s newest craft distillery is starting production as part of nationwide expansion plans for Australian Distilling Co.
The new facility at Stepney is the first of a number of distilleries planned across the country, building on a successful first two years for the emerging spirits label.
Australian Distilling Co. has won 74 national and international spirit awards, including double gold at the 2020 SIP Awards International Spirits Competition for its Adelaide Gin and Australian Distillery of the Year at the Berlin International Spirit Awards in 2019.
It has a large and expanding distribution network across Australia including BWS, Cellarbrations, the IBA Group (Thirsty Camel), Dan Murphy’s in South Australia, independent retailers and selected restaurants, bars and pubs.
Australian Distilling Co. was founded in late 2018 by Michael Hickinbotham, the Managing Director of South Australia’s largest home builder, Hickinbotham Group, continuing a family tradition of premium wine and spirit-making that goes back three generations.
In 1936 Michael’s grandfather Alan R. Hickinbotham established Australia’s and one of the world’s first degrees dedicated to winemaking, the Roseworthy College oenology course at the University of Adelaide. In recognition of his legacy, one of two handmade copper pot stills at Stepney carries his nickname, “Hick”, with the second named for Hick’s wife and Michael’s grandmother, Nell.
Australian Distilling Co.’s Master Distiller is the renowned Dr Graham Jones, who has taught generations of South Australian winemakers and distillers at the University of Adelaide for almost 30 years.
“Australian Distilling Co. is a celebration of Australian communities,” Michael said.
“Our range of artisan small-batch distilled gins and premium craft-made spirits embody the flavour and character of key cities and regions. For example, Adelaide Gin botanicals include Kangaroo Island lavender. Similarly, our Adelaide Vodka is triple distilled from South Australian premium grapes and spring water from the Adelaide Hills.
“Our team of distillers journey across the country, partnering with local distilleries to produce our city gins, in each city.
“We are now investing in this commitment with plans to build distilleries in cities around Australia, starting with Adelaide, with stills planned for Darwin, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Geelong.
“Our Adelaide distillery will produce Adelaide Gin as well as our signature range that includes Australian Distilling Co. Gin, Shiraz Gin and Rhapsody Ruby Gin.
“Last month we expanded into vodka, releasing our first batch of Adelaide Vodka and Australian Distilling Co. Vodka that will also be produced from Adelaide. Further expansion into whisky is among our future plans.
“Australian Distilling Co. is proud to make our first distillery investment in Adelaide as part of our commitment to South Australia and the spirits industry nationally.”