How can the Distiller’s Institute courses help?


Our courses are designed to help people who are thinking about starting their own spirits business, develop the skills and confidence to take the plunge.

Members receive access to content via an online portal, specifically created for the Australian distilling community.

130+ Members undertaking the course

COURSE ONE IS NOW LIVE!

The ‘Planning your successful distillery’ course guides your distilling journey covering everything from research and product decisions, to technical training, how to write distillery specific business plans and financial models, to marketing strategies and sales projections.

How does it work?

The Distillers Institute provides a step-by-step process over two courses to plan your distillery. They guide you through the economics, compliance, safety and skills required to become an active distiller.

We share what the Australian Tax Office will be expecting in order to get your licence, give you options on where to purchase equipment and guide you to the right industry consultants (if desired).

We offer insights from active Australian distilleries that have been through their own journey and are now selling their products. Once you’re rolling, you’re on the way to being a part of the Australian Distilling community.


Why should I look at these courses?


If you are thinking about starting a distillery or spirits business, Course One will ask why you should, and also why you shouldn’t go on that journey. It will also save you a lot of heartache (and money!) along the way.

After completing the seven modules in Course One you’ll have a clear understanding if distilling is for you, and after Course Two and 12 months it should have you well on your way to creating a successful business.

About Our Team


Anne Gigney


Anne is the Director of the Tasmanian Whisky Academy and has trained over 350 of Australia and New Zealand’s distillers. She is a Board member of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (APac) and advocate for education in Australia’s distilling industry.

Anne’s passion is helping others make a success of their dreams and drinking delicious brandies, whiskies and gins. 

Troy Trewin

Troy Trewin

Since 2011 Troy has been managing and growing whisky businesses in Australia and New Zealand, as CEO of three separate and well-respected brands. In recent years he has been advising other up-and-coming distilleries, or those already in a fast-growth phase.

Troy’s passion is helping distillery founders grasp the true economics and realities of growing a spirit business from nothing, or with limited capital, to something of meaning in the industry and great value. Since early 2017 Troy has been the Chairperson of fast-growing craft brewery, Hobart Brewing Co – the second largest craft brewer in Tasmania.

In late 2019 Troy started hosting a 30 minute weekly podcast interviewing small business owners with 5 to 30 team members, who grew their business to something bigger. Industries interviewed so far include spirits, beer, cider, tech, pharmacy, retail, restaurant, ecommerce and professional services.

Brett Steel


Brett is the Founding Director and General Manager of Spirit Thief Distilling Co, established in 2015 as an independent bottling company. With capital investment secured for the company in 2018, Spirit Thief now has a variety of casks ready for future releases from a number of Tasmanian distilleries and around the world, and is now transitioning into brewing, distilling and maturing their own whisky in Huntingfield Tasmania. 

Brett was the founder of Tasmanian Whisky Tours in 2013 which later became Drink Tasmania Premium Tours and has five years experience taking guests to Tasmanian breweries, wineries and distilleries in a tourism capacity.

Ian Thorn

B.Sc. Dipl.Brew. Dipl.Dist.

Ian is a technical brewer and distiller who has worked in the beverage manufacturing industry since 2006. In that time he has worked in both the UK and Australia in small, medium and large companies.

Ian started his career as a Brewery Microbiologist (Scottish & Newcastle) before going on to become a Head Brewer of a small English brewery (Stroud Brewery). In the whisky industry he has worked as a Distiller, a Distillery Manager, a Technical Manager (Starward), and his current primary role is that of Operations Manager for a new Rye Grain Distillery in Melbourne (The Gospel Distillers).