After a certain amount of uncertainty as to where to open, a New Zealand whisky company has finally decided to build their $3 million distillery in Oamaru.
Chief Executive of the whisky company, Troy Trewin talked about proposals going back several years, of building a distillery for the company which had just a few years of whisky left.
General Manager of the company, Grant Finn, of Oamaru, stated that the company showed an interest in several sites but was most interested in Oamaru. Oamaru is a good place for tourists, particularly European tourists, who happen to be their biggest clients but according to Finn, the company is not quite there yet and needs to yield from the location.
There is more of a chance to stand out and build a name in Oamaru as opposed to Dunedin. Dunedin has a very competitive environment for tourism given that there is an a Speight’s, an Emerson’s and a Cadbury World among other brands. It is also better to have everything in one place so that people can come in for an experience.
In 2010, the company purchased over 400 barrels of whisky that came from the former Wilsons distillery in Willowbank, Dunedin and after a reorganizing of the board in 2016, the company was ready for production.
Through a contractor in Christchurch, in 2016, thousands of litres of whisky had been produced by the company and was in storage in Oamaru. The company, however, was looking to get into production on its own. Earlier reported to be a $2 million development, the project would now include full production. According to Finn, this amount would allow for distillation only, but there are plans for a $3 million development for everything including the mashing and the grain silo-- the full works.