Hellyers Road wins State Export Award
Burnie based Hellyers Road Distillery has been recognised as Tasmania’s Small Business Exporter of the Year at Austrade’s recent awards ceremony held in Hobart.
This award comes on the back of a stellar couple of years for the distillery which has seen overall export growth up by 150%, with its whiskies finding strong favour in Europe and Japan.
On accepting his company’s award, general manager and master distiller, Mark Littler said that the growth had come on the back of a lot of perseverance and hard work from many people.
“With our distribution footprint in Australia firmly planted we are now starting to make significant inroads in Europe and in the last 12 months Japan has also become a key player in our export growth. In Europe, our whiskies can now be found in 25 countries, thanks largely to the work of our French based distributors La Maison du Whisky and the agents they engage across the continent.
I recently returned from a trade visit to Europe and was delighted with the strong resonance our brand now holds with consumers and the trade. Tasmanian Whisky is very highly regarded and Hellyers Road Distillery whisky is becoming more and more sought after,” Mr. Littler said.
Mark and the Hellyers Road Team will now turn their attention to the National Export Awards to be held in Brisbane in late November. “All State winners automatically go into the National Final. We will be up against some stiff opposition but are hopeful Hellyers Road’s exciting overseas growth will hold it in good stead, “Mark Littler concluded.
Mark Littler accepts the award as Tasmania’s Small Business Exporter of the Year from category sponsor EFIC
Hellyers Road attends Whisky Live – Paris
Last month master distiller, Mark Littler, attended Europe’s largest whisky event, Whisky Live-Paris which each year welcomes thousands of whisky devotees from across Europe. This was the fourth occasion since 2008 that Hellyers Road has been represented.
Whisky Live – Paris is managed by La Maison du Whisky, Hellyers Road’s distribution agents in Europe where the brand can now be found in over 25 countries. Much of the distillery’s double digit growth in Europe can be attributed to its presence at Whisky Live where the ‘New World’ Whisky Category stimulates a great deal of interest amongst patrons, especially a younger demographic. Joining Mark in Europe again were company chairman, Neville Latimer and fellow board members, Lesley French and Basil Shepherd.
“I get wonderful support from our board members who pay their own way to Europe each year on what they consider to be a ‘working holiday’. We get the chance to talk extensively with patrons during the course of the three day event. As much as the French love our whiskies, they also love the story behind our brand and the fact we come from a small island state in Australia. The event provides a platform to not only showcase our whiskies to thousands of people but to also promote Tasmania, its natural beauty and wonderfully pure environment. French culture is essentially built around a sense of provenance so our story really resonates,” Mark said.
Apart from attending Whisky Live, Mark and his intrepid board members undertook several distillery tours in Scotland before tackling a gruelling cross continent trip to visit distribution agents in Germany, the Czech Republic and Sweden. He also conducted several Whisky Master-Class sessions as well as promoting the HRD brand at Stockholm’s Whisky and Beer Festival.
“It was a very busy three weeks but it is important for Hellyers Road Distillery, and for the Tasmanian Whisky Industry, to continue the expansion of its international footprint, further build brand awareness and capitalise on the significant sales growth we are experiencing globally. It was also a great opportunity to tell people about our beautiful island state,” he concluded.
Mark Littler with the La Maison du Whisky team
Attending the Stockholm Whisky & Beer Festival with local agents, Symposion
Local whisky ranked in world’s top ten
On top of having its Pinot Noir Finish single malt whisky recognised as a Master Whisky in the recently announced Global Whisky Master Awards, Hellyers Road Distillery has this week been rated in the Top Ten – Value for Money whiskies in the world, placing it alongside some of the world’s biggest mass producing spirits brands.
The rankings have been released by London-based liquor industry publication, The Spirits Business, convenors of the Global Whisky Master Awards.
Master distiller, Mark Littler said this latest accolade for Hellyers Road was highly valued by the emerging brand.
Mark Littler toasting his whisky’s success.
Local distillery makes Chinese and French connections
Tasmanian whisky was recently profiled extensively to national and international audiences as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s historic visit to Hobart.
Three of the State’s best known single malt distilleries were selected for inclusion on major event menus relating to President Xi’s visit, foremost of which was the inclusion of Hellyers Road Distillery’s Peated varietal on the Government House menu for Tuesday’s Presidential luncheon.
The Government House menu, dominated by top quality Tasmanian produce, was heavily scrutinised by millions of Chinese people courtesy of blogs and websites administered by visiting Chinese Media. A bottle of Hellyers Road 12 Year was also one of three official gifts given to the President on behalf of the people of Tasmania.
Hellyers Road’s Mark Littler talks ‘whisky’ with President Hollande and former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Canberra