Launched on December 11, Drink Victorian is a government-backed program to bring more locally made drinks to places and in customer glasses.
Produced by the Victorian Drinks Alliance (VDA) and the Government of the State of Victoria, Drink Victorian will initially be a six-month pilot program, in partnership with around 100 of the state’s leading producers, bars and restaurants.
Anthea Loucas Bosha, VDA Co-Chair, announced Drink Victorian’s announcement: “Whether you’re having a drink with friends at home or in the city’s amazing bars, pubs and restaurants, Drink Victorian is here to highlight that , whatever your favorite drink, there is a local option that compares to the best in the world.
The program is in part designed to counter export declines facing Victorian producers as a result of the pandemic and related supply chain issues.
Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. Mary-Anne Thomas said: “Over the past two years the industry has been pushing hard, starting with bushfires, COVID-19 and ongoing business challenges.
“Victorian beverage producers are some of the best in the world and we are delighted to be working with the Victorian Drinks Alliance on a program that will further strengthen Victoria’s passion for locally made beverages and showcase our diverse beverage producers. “
Some of Melbourne’s most influential and high-profile sites have joined the program, including Byrdi, Capitano and Grossi Florentino. Blackhearts & Sparrows, one of Victoria’s leading independent drink retailers, is showcasing its Victorian drink collection as part of the Drink Victorian initiative.
A number of industry events are planned by the VDA, including tastings and “knowledge building” trips to both the metro and regional beverage makers. As VDA Co-Chair Angie Bradbury puts it, the program is “more than just a Victorian drink showcase, it’s about building relationships between Victorians and our beverage producers.”
The highlight of the program will be a two-day event in early 2022, part of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. The event will showcase the state’s beverage producers and ‘beverage experiences’, with all the details to be announced in the New Year.
Drink Victorian will run until May 2022, and a map of participating venues can be found here.