RIGHT TONIC: Pechey Homestead's John O'Brien.
RIGHT TONIC: Pechey Homestead's John O'Brien.

Boutique distillery cashing in on tourism boost

A BOUTIQUE gin and vodka distillery in the northern Toowoomba region is enjoying huge sales, partially thanks to a tourism boom.

The Pechey Distilling Company, based at the historic Pechey Homestead, launched its first batch in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year.

But co-owner John O'Brien said the small operator had sold more than 1000 bottles in just three months, including to tourists from Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

But he said the bulk of sales were from locals across the Toowoomba region as well as restaurants and bars.

Enjoying a Pechey S&T after a busy weekend - pour 1 measure of Spring Vodka over ice, top with dry tonic and garnish...

Posted by Pechey Distilling Co. on Saturday, 19 September 2020

"Considering we started up during the middle of COVID-19, we had a great response, particularly from the region," Mr O'Brien said.

"The Carnival (of Flowers) is getting people from Brisbane and the Gold Coast up here.

"These northern downs have been really busy, and we're onto our third batch of gin, our second batch of vodka and we just launched our first batch of floral vodka."

The comments come as the northern Toowoomba region, dubbed by tourism operators as the High Country Hamlets, has witnessed a big increase in visitors.

Mr O'Brien said he agreed with the sentiments, saying tourists who visited would often be prepared to spend money as well.

"Regional tourism has benefited from where we are, about two hours from the coast," he said.

"People are visiting our area much more than they would in the past.

"We've produced top-shelf products, and the people who visit find it to their liking.

"Most people who visit and taste, they go on and buy it."

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