After the challenges of 2020, it is with renewed hope we leave the past year firmly behind as we put one foot in front of the other into 2021 and toward 2022.
The journey has been particularly trying for the drinks industry. Our business’s core is centred around people, getting together, creating memories, socialising over a pint of beer, a glass of wine or a gin and tonic.
In particular, social restrictions and capacity caps severely shook our on-premise sector. Hard-working people experienced unbearable financial hardship, failed businesses, venue closures, and lost jobs.
And amid the pandemic, our wine industry’s biggest export market, China, was cut off while it still reeled from the ravaging bushfires the summer before.
Never has anything within living memory forced us to do the kind of heavy lifting we have done in this period.
But our industry rose to meet the challenge, adapted and grew. Our intrinsically social industry’s innate camaraderie allowed us to support each other with steely resolve as we rolled with the punches and rallied around the hardest hit.
It has fortified us, made us re-evaluate and better equip us for an exciting future as we put our pedal to the metal and accelerate into the demands of a new trading environment.
I hope you take the time to read the reports within these pages from leaders in our trade and absorb the full impact of what has been experienced, overcome and achieved in these extraordinary times.
Personally, editing this edition left me with the sense our industry has changed indelibly, forever, and positively.
We also take a look at the new sober curious movement and the speed train of innovation and development in drinks racing to meet this growing demand. It’s called the ‘nolo’ category and it’s a game changer.
We hope you enjoy this edition as much as we did putting it together.