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Hartshorn Distillery
Of all the websites, in all of the towns, in all the world, you walked into ours.
Of all the websites,
in all of the towns,
in all the world,
you walked into ours.

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15 Aussie distilleries giving spirits a shake

When Will Edwards lodged the paperwork to open the City of Sydney’s first independent distillery in more than 150 years, no one on the council knew how to deal with request. “You put in the application and they go ‘Bloody hell, what’s this?’,” says the Archie Rose co-founder.

That was only five years ago. I can barely fathom the back-and-forth brouhaha that Bill Lark must have endured with his local member in 1992 to begin distilling small-batch craft spirits for the first time in Australia since it was outlawed in 1800s. Of course, there have been a few big-business brandies and Queensland rums since, however Bundy hardly qualifies as “craft”.

Depending on your criteria (say, if a brewery makes gin on the side, is it also classified as a distillery?) there are about 120 distilleries in Australia, making whisky, gin, vodka, moonshine, brandy, absinthe and whatever else you want to throw in a still and see what happens. In 2013 there were less than 50 registered distilleries and in the mid-90s only a handful. The boom owes itself to a global craft spirits revival plus an increased interest in all things artisanal, Australian and botanical. Now it seems like there’s a new distillery launching every week. The industry can no longer be referred to as juvenile.

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