The Tasmanian Whisky Producers’ Association (TWPA) was formed on the 21st of May 2007.
It was (Lark Distillery) founder Bill Lark who in 1992 resurrected the Tasmanian distillery industry after it had been dormant since the early 1800s. In early 2007 Patrick Maguire (Tasmania Distillery) and Bill Lark recognised the need for an industry body to support and promote the strength of the now recognised, Tasmanian whisky brand. It was felt that the Tasmanian whisky brand would benefit from the support of all the Tasmanian Whisky Producers, including independent bottlers.
The official TWPA was formed at the inaugural meeting held at Clarendon House, an historic farm property in Tasmania’s north near Launceston, on the 21st of May 2007. The members were made up of all the existing distilleries and independent bottlers in Tasmania producing Tasmanian single malt whisky (of which there were 10 at the time).
The Association was formed in recognition of the growing whisky industry in Tasmania and the increasing success of Tasmanian whiskies, nationally and internationally. A number of Tasmania’s whisky producers felt that it was a good time to establish Tasmania as Australia’s “Whisky Island”.
Together with the support of our State Government the new industry was shaping up to have a bright future with exports and local Australian markets increasing steadily. Also those already involved in the industry within Tasmania were willing to participate in the foundation of a positive industry support group.
Part of the Association’s direction is to establish a Tasmanian Whisky Appellation backed by legislation and protected by the Association. The appellation system will be designed to reflect the make up and quality of what a Tasmanian single malt whisky should be.
Once the Association and appellation system is up and running it will work with the Tasmanian Government to promote Tasmania as the ‘Whisky State of Australia’ and the Tasmanian distilling industry.
Whilst the Association initially had a strong Tasmanian focus, it was also considered important that members of TWPA support the ideals and goals of the Australian Distillers Association (ADA). Members of the TWPA are encouraged to be members of the ADA.
The TWPA now has 18 full members and associate members will be added in November.