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Ditch the cultural cringe and embrace Australian drinks

January 28, 2022

We’ve come a long way from a world where XXXX, Bundaberg rum & Chardonnay in a cask were our choice of local drinks.

Sure, that’s a generalisation - and statistically, the Chardonnay is more likely to be in a bottle than a cask. Yet it’s a welcome point to acknowledge that now, in 2022, we have a whole smorgasbord of beverages that have a distinctly Australian flavour.

Why is this important for your venue? Well, for years, there has been an increasing trend - especially in drinks - to believe that imported must be better (or at least more interesting). Whether it’s whisky, IPA or sparkling wine, the subtle cultural cringe meant that international drinks often had an edge over local products.

Indeed, you only need to look at the imported wine figures to see that. Despite wine consumption being flat or falling since 2015, imports continue to rise at 2% per annum.

What’s interesting is that all that changed in 2021. Last year, perhaps due to the pandemic, more Australians reported drinking than previously (up 3% in a year according to Roy Morgan figures), while sentiment to drink locally produced products was up too - with 50% of drinkers now actively pursuing domestically crafted products (Wine Intelligence figures).

All of this means that you should be focussing more than ever on uniquely Australian products, especially when the range and offering has never been so good.

Look, for example, at gin. Gone are the days when it was Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray or bust. Now, there’s a ginalanche of great local spirits, and so many of them use botanicals and ingredients found only within our shores. Wild pepper, finger lime, and even local ants. Now, Australian gin can mix it with the best in the world.

Whether it’s local whisky, craft cider or fortified, you now have an option for something homegrown and proudly so.

This week, with Australia Day in the middle, is the best time to ask yourself - can my venue celebrate Australian drinks better?