The ASX-listed distiller of NED Whisky and Grainshaker Vodka, Top Shelf International, is progressing towards its 2024 target of planting one million agave plants in Queensland.
There are now 216,000 agaves planted at Top Shelf’s Eden Lassie farm in The Whitsundays, the company informed the ASX this week.
“Top Shelf anticipates the launch of the Australian Agave brand in the first quarter of FY22 with a limited release experimental product series available for sale in FY22,” it said.
With tequila and mezcal growing strongly in the US, Top Shelf plans to pioneer Australian Agave as a new spirit category.
The Australian Research Council’s Linkage Program awarded the project an $800,000 grant in March 2021 to continue ongoing research and development into establishing agave as a sustainable and climate proof Australian crop, the announcement says.
Top Shelf will contribute a minimum of $300,000 to the project over the three-year period of the grant.
“The company believes that the Australian agave project could have a significant effect on the Whitsunday regional economy and welcomes the strong engagement from the Queensland state government, Whitsunday Regional Council, Tourism Whitsundays and the local community,” it said.
NED Whisky and Grainshaker Vodka highlights
The company reported total revenue of $5 million in the third quarter of FY21, an increase of 121 per cent on the same time last year.
In March 2021, Top Shelf opened the Grainshaker Vodka Local Distillery in Thornbury, Melbourne.
“The Local Distillery provides consumers with an immersive brand experience with a calendar of upcoming activation events to directly engage the Grainshaker Vodka brand and product range with consumers,” it said.
“Top Shelf continued to invest in NED Whisky inventory with 1,386,700 litres on hand as at 31 March 2021.
“The NED Whisky inventory on hand represents the equivalent of over $88.1 million in net sales value at maturation.”
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