Australian Distilled Spirits Awards entries open Jan 24th

The Australian craft spirits scene is booming, with quality spirit coming from all corners of the country. And one need only to take a look at the popularity of Aussie brands at the travelling event that is our Indie Spirits Tasting for proof that the demand for home-grown hooch is growing.

And as a way of helping producers to benchmark their products and reward those who are making world-beating spirits, the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards are back for a third year in 2017, with entries open from January 24.

This year, they’ve added a new category for Aromatic Bitters, as they’ve recognised a growing trend of producers creating their own bitters in addition to their flagship spirits. There’s also a new trophy for Champion Australian Micro Batch Spirit, “defined as those that come from a single distillation, barrel or cask, the output or capacity of which is not greater than one-hundred litres (100L) and not less than fifty litres (50L).”

The Australian Distilled Spirits Awards invite entries from Australian producers to be judged blind in a process conducted by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, who also put on the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards and the Australian International Beer Awards.

The judging panel includes a number of bartending names familiar to Australian Bartender readers, including Australian Bartender editor Sam Bygrave in the role of Head Judge.


“It’s a great honour to again be involved in the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards, and to be appointed to the role of Head Judge,” Bygrave said.

“The local spirits scene has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and an event like this helps to spotlight the great work the industry is doing and promote it to a wider audience.”

On the panel are former Bartenders of the Year Sebastian Reaburn, Lee Potter Cavanagh, and the reigning champion, Michael Chiem, as well as Speakeasy Group whisky buyer Geoff Fewell, Bad Frankie owner Sebastian Costello, Whisky & Alement owner Julian White, Maidenii’s Shaun Byrne, and bartender Ev Liong.

Spirits writer Luke McCarthy, The Gin Queen Caroline Childerley and more are also on the panel (click here to find out more).

Entries into the awards closes on Friday 3 March, with the medals and trophies handed out on Thursday 6 April.

For more information visit, check out the key dates below, and click here for a list of last year’s trophy-winning spirits.

Entries Open: Tuesday 24 January
Entries Close: Friday 3 March (5 weeks)
Deliveries to Melbourne Showgrounds: Monday 20 – Friday 24 March
Judging: Tuesday 28 + Wednesday 29 March
Awards Presentation: Thursday 6 April
Exhibitor and Trade Tasting: Friday 7 April
To enter the 2017 ADSA, visit to register.

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