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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.