Food and beverage

Food and beverage stories

The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Food and Beverage sector:

Cellar door visits are soaring

Tasmania's vineyard cellar doors drew 249,850 visitors in 2016, a 20 per cent increase on the previous year. Wine Tasmania's Chief Executive, Sheralee Davies, said: "In terms of growth, it’s been extraordinary.” She credited positive media coverage of the Tasmanian industry coupled with accolades and awards for local winemakers with the increased activity. “It hasn’t just been fortuitous,” she said. “We’ve been working hard to grow the reputation of Tasmania for its wine production.” That reputation received another boost at the 2016 Royal Hobart International Wine Show when Tasmanian pinot noirs won nine gold medals, comfortably outscoring New Zealand which won three gold medals for the cool-climate variety. Interstate pinots picked up one gold medal. The Victorian Chair of the organising committee, John Ellis of Hanging Rock Vineyard, described the outcome as a statement of strength by Tasmanians. A panel of more than 20 Australian and international judges assessed 1,758 entries (1,637 the previous year).

9 February 2017, Edition 180

Copter carries hives into forest

Award-winning Launceston business, Australian Honey Products, has used a helicopter to move 4,000 bee hives into leatherwood stands in the Arthur River Forest Reserve. A special helicopter rig, able to hold eight hives at a time, was custom-built in Queensland for the operation in January, which was a first for the local industry. Owner/operator Lindsay Bourke told ABC: "Seventy to 90 per cent of all of our honey in Tasmania is leatherwood. This is the only opportunity we have to get honey. That's why we [are going] to such desperate measures." Last June, major flooding washed away Pykes Bridge on the Arthur River, cutting off access to the valued rainforest sites. Mr Bourke has also hired eight trainee beekeepers in response to opportunities created by a lowering of tariffs in China and the Republic of Korea. “It’s only a few per cent but, by gee, it makes a lot of difference to their buying power ... we have certainty now, so ... we’ve agreed to train these people along with TasTAFE. They’re all Tasmanian local people from the Sheffield and Launceston areas," Mr Bourke said. Last year, Australian Honey Products' leatherwood honey was judged the best in the world at a global industry event in Korea.

9 February 2017, Edition 180

Shipwreck yeast recreates ale

Yeast microbes from the world's oldest bottle of beer — a 220-year-old flask found in the wreck of the Sydney Cove in Bass Strait — are being used to create a modern Tasmanian beer that researchers believe recaptures the characteristic taste of an 18th-century brew. The British trading ship was grounded on Preservation Island during a storm in 1797 while on route from Calcutta to Sydney. The crew scrambled ashore and their salvation inspired the name of the recreated beer: Preservation Ale. Researchers used the salvaged yeast to brew a mild-tasting beer from a traditional recipe of the time. They say it has a distinct flavour.


9 February 2017, Edition 180

Planet needs salmon, says WWF

Edition 180_Salmon cages in south-east Tasmania

World Wildlife Fund Australia (WWF) has called on Australians to appreciate the merits of Tasmania's salmon industry, saying aquaculture is needed to save wild fisheries and feed a growing global population.

8 February 2017, Edition 180

High-tech foil for cherry cheats

Edition 180_Tasmanian cherries ... sophisticated protection

Laser-cut gold stickers, plastic liners with logos, water marks and unique, single-use QR codes are making forgery more difficult in Tasmania's booming export cherry markets.

8 February 2017, Edition 180

Eating boom is chic, cosmopolitan

Edition 180_Lobster at the Landscape Restaurant

Food & Wine Writer, Graeme Phillips, writes with due excitement about Hobart's dining boom, with nearly 80 new restaurants, cafés and bars opening in and around the city in the past two years.

8 February 2017, Edition 180

Thoughtful fun at Mona Foma

Edition 180_New Year's Eve fireworks at the Taste of Tasmania

Australia’s weirdest summer festival, Mona Foma, lived up to its reputation for unexpected and challenging content during an amped-up January party season.

8 February 2017, Edition 180

M├ęthode Tasmanoise has history

Edition 178 Graham Wiltshire OA

Food & Wine Writer, Graeme Phillips, recalls a discovery in 1979 that puts Tasmania's sparkling wine upsurge into an historical context.

5 December 2016, Edition 178

Cup win for our food brand

Edition 178 James Viles

The Tasmanian brand had a Melbourne Cup win when James Boags engaged celebrity chef James Viles to whip up a Tasmanian feast at Flemington. 

30 November 2016, Edition 178

Mackey's our 6th Liquid Gold maker

Mackey Whisky, now operating from a purpose-built distillery at Pontville’s historic Shene Estate, has emerged this year at the top of a star-spangled Tasmanian industry. The triple-distilled unpeated Irish-style single malt has scored a rare double, being rated as Liquid Gold in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2017 with a score of 94.5 and winning a gold medal as the best drop in the World Whisky Category in the respected annual International Whisky Competition held this year in the United States. A year ago distiller Damien Mackey was a part-timer producing 500 litres a year from a backyard operation in New Town. He has since left the public service and plans with his business partner, David Kernke, to boost production to 150,000 litres a year. Jim Murray rated the Mackey single malt in the top 2 per cent of the 4,600 whiskies he had tasted during the year. The company became Tasmania's sixth Liquid Gold whisky business and there was more glory for local producers. At the International Whisky Competition newcomer Redlands Estate took silver in the World Category with its Single Barrel Pinot Noir whisky. Jim Murray rated Heartwood's The Good Convict as his 2016 Southern Hemisphere Whisky of the Year, while awarding Overeem Port Cask single malt 95 points and Liquid Gold status. Mr Mackey told Canberra-based writer Jason Scott: “We’re very happy whenever we see a map of Australia with Tasmania missing — the Tasmanian brand doesn’t need to be shackled to the Australian brand. If most people around the world think we’re a separate place, that’s great.”

30 November 2016, Edition 178

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Latest news

Tasmania's Stories Edition 180

Edition 180_Salmon cages in south-east Tasmania

Your first 2017 edition of Tasmania's Stories leads off with strong support from the World Wildlife Fund and The Australian for our salmon industry. Please enjoy your February edition of Tasmania's Stories.

22 February 2017, Edition 180

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