106: In 2015, established an independent bottling company, transitioning into brewing, distilling & maturing their own whisky. Only had 120L produced in their initial pilot casks and now currently producing 12,000L annually. (Brett Steel)

australia distilling fte 1-5 podcast sales $1m-$3m aud tasmania May 19, 2021

In this episode, I interview Brett Steel, the Founding Director and General Manager of Spirit Thief Distilling Co, an independent bottling company based in Tasmania, Australia, and was established in 2015. Brett is defined for his passion for brewing and distilling and found an opportunity to work with other distilleries.

Spirit Thief transitions from brewing into maturing their own whisky, and now has a variety of casks ready for future releases around the world. For their initial pilot casks, they distilled approximately 120L, grew it every year, and now produce 12,000L annually. Before Spirit Thief, Brett was the founder of Tasmanian Whisky Tours in 2013 which became Drink Tasmania Premium Tours which was then sold in 2019.

Brett says that the number one habit a small business owner needs to develop and maintain is discipline and this is the habit he’s still working on every day. Though it is quite challenging, it really helps sustain the business in the long-term duration.

This Cast Covers:

  • Providing an overview and knowledge about distilling.
  • Creating and building a brand as part of marketing in a distilling business.
  • Product planning and determining scale.
  • How independent bottling became an opportunity to work with other distilleries.
  • How the business brought it through a pandemic period.
  •  Moving from a small bar concept into a tourism venture.
  • The importance of discipline in running a business.
  • How knowing the numbers & understanding that marketing is a return on investment is a key to grow the business quickly. 

Additional Resources:



“Success for me is work lifestyle balance, in a way that we can grow it in a sustainable direction towards those numbers.” – Brett Steel 

“I feel like knowing your numbers, and understanding that marketing is a return on investment is key to growing that business quickly.” – Brett Steel

“Learning to respect that each staff member has different priorities and different needs and different ways of leading and managing their role was a really great learning lesson for me.” – Brett Steel

“Trust that those decisions that you’re making, are the right ones.” – Brett Steel

“Discipline is really important to sustain your business in a longer-term.” – Brett Steel


Music from https://filmmusic.io “Cold Funk” by Kevin MacLeod https://incompetech.com. License: CC by http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0


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