Brookie’s Excise Strength Gin, a thumbs down to the spirits excise tax

September 13, 2023
By Rachel White

Cape Byron Distillery has released Brookie’s Excise Strength Gin, an on-premise exclusive developed to protest the government’s recent spirits excise increase.

Describing the tax as “unprecedented and unsustainable”, Brookie’s new release is only available to buy in bulk, a 15L jug-in-a-box that reduces packaging costs that Brookie’s can pass onto venues who want premium gin at a competitive price.

Eddie Brook, Co-founder and Distiller at Cape Byron Distillery said the Excise Strength Gin is more than a great gin, he hopes it will start a conversation within the industry around the spirits excise system.

“The spirit that we have created is sensational. We set out to craft a perfectly balanced gin for the modern Australian cocktail bar and versatile enough to be used from classic cocktails to modern inventive drinks, but this is more than just a great gin.

“Our goal is for Excise Strength Gin to create momentum for change to our unsustainable and archaic excise system. Spirits are unfairly taxed compared to other alcohols in Australia, and the producers and venue owners in our industry feel the brunt of this discriminatory spirit tax. If we can inspire conversation in our industry and with government whilst sipping on a delicious Brookie’s G&T in hand, then we’d be pretty happy with that,” he said.

The bulk format of the gin also reduces the environmental impact of production and, as a B corp-certified business, helps Cape Byron Distillery create innovative solutions for reducing packaging waste.

Each 15L jug-in-a-box reduces the glass bottle waste by 14kg, approximately 22 x 700ml bottles, and the cardboard box and jug are 100% kerbside recyclable. Leftover jugs are also perfect for prebatching bulk cocktails with an easy-to-use screw-on tap system that will minimise leaks and wastage.

According to Cape Byron, the average bar prebatching cocktails this way will, in one year, save approximately 312 bottles, keeping over 200kg of glass bottle waste from entering the recycling and landfill system.

Alex McManus, Sustainability Manager at Cape Byron Distillery, said: “At Brookie’s Gin, sustainability is at our core, by offering a larger container, we are able to reduce the overall packaging weight from entering the supply chain. While the box is still made from virgin HDPE this large format box is over 520 grams lighter than other standard industry containers, that’s over 11 x 2L milk jugs! resulting in a smaller carbon footprint.

“We believe that businesses now have the option for making a responsible choice, such as opting for the Brookie’s Excise Strength Gin pack, we can collectively contribute to a greener, circular future for our planet.”

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