Inspiring Victorians to drink Victorian

Paul Waterson, Gus Kelly, Sam Slaney, Minister Thomas, Angie Bradbury, Anthea Loucas Bosha, David Irwin, Kathleen Quealy, Paul Bowker. Photo Carmen Zammit

This week marked the launch of a new program to get more Victorian made drinks into restaurants, bars and shops across the state.

The initiative, a six-month pilot program produced by the Victorian Drinks Alliance and supported by the Victorian Government, works with 100 Melbourne bars, pubs and restaurants to give food and drink lovers the opportunity to try some of the state’s best wine, cider, beer and spirits, with venues highlighting local drinks talent on their lists.

Leading independent drinks retailer Blackhearts & Sparrows is supporting the program, showcasing its collection of Victorian wine, beer, cider and spirits to encourage people to purchase Victorian drinks and discover new favourite producers from right here in their own backyard.

“The Victorian drinks industry produces some of the best drinks you’ll see on any list or shelf,” Anthea Loucas Bosha, co-chair of the Victorian Drinks Alliance said.

“Whether you’re enjoying a drink with friends at home or out in the city’s amazing bars, pubs and restaurants, Drink Victorian is here to highlight that, whatever your favourite tipple, there’s a local option that stacks up against the best in the world.

“The diversity of producers across the state is unparalleled and with so many local farmers and producers featuring on our menus, it seems natural to pair these dishes with drinks that are just as local.”

“Over the past two years, the industry has been doing it tough, starting from the bushfires, COVID-19 and ongoing trade challenges,” Victorian minister for agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas said.

“Victorian drinks producers are some of the best in the world and we’re thrilled to be working with the Victorian Drinks Alliance on a program that will further strengthen Victoria’s passion for locally made drinks and highlight our diverse drinks producers.”

Working with some of Melbourne’s best bartenders and sommeliers, Drink Victorian also aims to strengthen relationships between the hospitality industry and winemakers, brewers and distillers from all corners of the state.

“We recognise the challenges faced by many of our exporters during the pandemic and that’s why we are aiming to increase sales of locally produced drinks in our bars, pubs and restaurants,” Minister for Trade, Martin Pakula said.

The program will host a number of industry events including a large-scale tasting and knowledge building trips to visit metro and regional drinks producers.

“From craft beer to specialty spirits and some of the country’s finest wine, we have such a diverse selection of drinks producers across metro and regional Victoria and it’s great to see them receiving the recognition they deserve,” Victorian Drinks Alliance co-chair Angie Bradbury said.

“The Drink Victorian program is more than just a showcase of Victorian drinks, it’s about building relationships between Victorians and our drinks producers and celebrating the incredible diversity, world-class quality and accessibility we provide.”


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