Warren and Catie Brewer at their distillery at The Saleyards Hotel in Rockhampton. Pics Tara Croser.
Warren and Catie Brewer at their distillery at The Saleyards Hotel in Rockhampton. Pics Tara Croser.

Rocky business to export liquor to China, Korea and Japan

ROCKHAMPTON'S ­Saleyards Distillery is tapping into the international market, shipping a pallet of alcohol to China this month.

The business, located at the old Saleyards Hotel on Gladstone Rd, has been in talks with a few international exporters.

Co-owner Warren Brewer said they had been working with Young Beamish, Trade and Investment officer at Advance Rockhampton, a ­Rockhampton Regional Council arm.

Ms Beamish recently visited the Saleyards with ­opportunities surrounding ­exporting and this week they sent a sample to an established food and liquor importer in China.

The sample included 120 bottles of each of the Saleyards Distillery's unique drops, which is brewed on site, ­including Billy Goat's Gin, Capricorn Gin, lychee liqueur, barrel-aged gin and lychee and macadamia liqueurs.

The Distillery is finalising details for a second business in China that has requested high alcohol content of 50-52 per cent for "cheers drinks".

Saleyards is also in talks with some businesses in South Korea and Japan.

Mr Brewer said the Asian countries had been quite ­interested in the lychee liqueurs.

"It's difficult because around here they only fruit for eight weeks so you have to make it and be prepared for how many bottles you are going to make each year," Mr Brewer said.

Last Monday marked three years since Warren and his wife Catie, and their business partners, took over the Saleyards Hotel and later founded Saleyards Distillery.

"It was a bit of a whim but we had high ambitions.... not sure if we have made it there but we are really happy with where we have gotten to," Mr Brewer said.

Their alcohol is now for sale across Dan Murphy's stores in Queensland and BWS stores in southeast Queensland.

They have also just gained a distributor in Melbourne which will result in their products being sold through all of the independent bottle shops in the city from 2020.

"It's a big market; they are really open to new things and it's quite progressive down there," Mr Brewer said.

They are now starting to concentrate on the sales and word about their products is starting to spread.

"We're so far from any population, you have to travel to do the sales directly," he said.

Evolving and growing their operation, the Brewer's are now starting to run out of space.

As the rum takes three years to be aged, they need a lot of storage.

They are now looking for an industrial shed in town and hope to be moved by mid 2020.

Also early in the new year they will be releasing a new alcohol, a salted caramel rum liqueur.

The Ranch Bar and Grill Restaurant moved to the ­Saleyards Hotel in May and is open for lunch and dinner.

Find The Ranch's menu on their facebook page.

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