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George Georgiadis welcomes government decision to make SA the ‘spirits capital of Australia’

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SA Spirit Producers Association president George Georgiadis has welcomed a new cash injection of up to $50,000 from South Australia’s state government, leaving opportunity for the state to grow into the “spirits capital of Australia”.

Speaking to The Advertiser, Georgiadis said there were about 1000 people employed across the state’s 50 distilleries, including many that had grown from “extremely small” to medium-sized enterprises in just a few years.

“We’re expecting that really rapid growth to continue, both in terms of the number of distilleries in the state and also in terms of the volume that each of those individual businesses is doing,” Mr Georgiadis said.

“Having the support of the Government to … get the right people involved to quantify and analyse the hurdles and opportunities for a young industry is really valuable.”

Never Never Distilling Company co-founders Sean Baxter and George Georgiadis. Picture: Tricia Watkinson/The Advertiser

Despite the state governments best efforts to promote Australia’s distilleries to a global audience, regulation and federal excises, Mr Georgiadis said, are among distilleries’ biggest hurdles.

In 2019-20, Australia’s spirit manufacturing industry generated $2.1bn in revenue and $306m in exports. SA accounts for about 12 per cent of spirits manufacturing businesses.

Speaking to the Advertiser, Primary Industries Minister David Basham said the government has been working closely with South Australian spirit producers, with the “logical next step” being to formulate what challenges and opportunities lie ahead.

Basham said South Australia’s progression into the “spirits capital of Australia” would boost investment across the regions.

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