Kathleen Davies on the opportunity and challenges for Australian craft spirits

Kathleen Davies is the founder of Nip of Courage, Australia’s leading wholesaler and exporter of Aussie craft spirits. Prior to starting Nip of Courage in 2013, Kathleen worked in sales for some of the most recognisable drinks brands in the country, and she has since been a Presenter at Tales of the Cocktail and a National Judge for female bartending competition Speed Rack.

Kathleen saw the craft spirits boom coming before most – she had seen the industry take off in the United States and started Nip of Courage on the assumption that Australia would follow suit. As she explains, the first few months were slow and business became a bit touch-and-go, before she took the company to an event in Melbourne and was overwhelmed with the ensuing response.

Now, Kathleen has a fantastic relationship with many a boutique distillery, many of which are located in remote and rural Australia, and she has even started her own range of bottle cocktails. The Aussie Tipple Company utilises (of course) handcrafted Australian spirits to batch classic cocktails such as a Negroni and Martini.

We were eager to ask Kathleen about the level of opportunity that remains for small distillers in a market that we’re continually being told is reaching saturation, the challenges faced by those operations, her experience at Tales of the Cocktail and more.

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