Victorian government establishes $10m grant fund for distilleries

May 24, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas has unveiled the state’s post-pandemic budget, announcing a raft of measures to support small businesses, further funding for wage subsidies, business events, distillery venues, and a plan to revitalise the CBD.

“We’re focused on helping those who need it the most — vulnerable Victorians, struggling small businesses, job seekers and families,” he said.

The budget includes a $160m tourism package incorporating the establishment of a $10 million distillery door grant scheme. Over the next two years, funding will be offered to local distillers who attract tourists and create jobs through their ‘distillery’ door operations.

This investment will directly benefit the 104 distilleries located throughout Victoria, who buy produce from local farmers, attract tourists to the regions, and create jobs, both within their own operations and in the services and supply chains. 

Chris Pratt, Australian Distillers Association Victorian spokesperson and owner of Kilderkin Distillery in Ballarat, said: 

“This is wonderful news for Victorian craft distillers. We will be able to invest more in our distillery doors to encourage more people to sample Victorian spirits and enjoy a unique and innovative distillery experience leading to further employment opportunities in Victoria.

“We are very pleased the government has recognised the contribution of the craft spirits industry to the Victorian economy, especially in regional areas where many distilleries are based.”

“This is a great result for Victorian producers and consumers. This significant grant program will help to grow a burgeoning spirits industry. Spirit producers will be able to employ more people and positively impact the farmers and businesses who support them. More distillery doors will mean more consumers get to experience innovative products created by passionate people, and will enrich local tourism offerings.” 

Stu Gregor, President of Australian Distillers Association and co-founder of Four Pillars in Healesville, added

“Craft distillers are passionate about the innovative and world class products they make. The ADA looks forward to working with the Andrews Government to ensure the program meets its stated objectives of supporting local jobs and investment in a financially responsible and sustainable way.”

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