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16 June 2023

Friday, 16 June 2023


The Bellarine Peninsula is playing a lead part in the incredible growth of the Victorian distilling industry.

Treasurer Tim Pallas, Minister for Agriculture Gayle Tierney and Member for Bellarine Alison Marchant today visited the thriving Bellarine Distillery in Drysdale to see the spirits revolution first hand.

Bellarine Distillery produces a range of highly-regarded gins and whisky and has gone from strength to strength since it was established in 2015 by owners Lorelle Warren and Russ Watson.

The growth of the distillery sector in Victoria from zero producers 15 years ago has been phenomenal. There are now about 150 distilleries in Victoria – the most of any state – directly employing more than 1,000 workers.

The Andrews Labor Government has backed the industry’s growth and associated jobs through the $10 million Distillery Door Program. The program has provided grants of up to $70,000 to producers including to Bellarine Distillery to develop The Whiskery – a rustic cellar door space created out of an old farm shed.

The Victorian Budget 2023-24 unveiled last month extends the Distillery Door Program with a further $10 million investment.

Quote attributable to Member for Bellarine Alison Marchant

“Bellarine Distillery is a fantastic local success story delivering significant benefits in terms of jobs and visitation that flow through to the wider community.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Agriculture Gayle Tierney

"The Distillery Door Program has played an important role in helping businesses like the Bellarine Distillery thrive – new funding in the Budget will ensure the industry continues to go from strength to strength.”

Quote attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas

“Victorian-made drinks are some of the best in the world and the growth in the local distilling sector has been nothing short of phenomenal.”

Quotes attributable to Bellarine Distillery owner Lorelle Warren

“We greatly appreciate the funding provided by the Victorian Government through the Distillery Door Program.”

“It has allowed us to enhance the visitor experience and continue to provide employment opportunities for up to 34 employees across our distillery door, distillery and marketing teams.”