Festival Brings Together Victoria’s Best Distilleries

by the partae

A ritual awaits at Holy Water Craft Distillery Festival, with more than 30 distilleries showcased at Seaworks in Williamstown Friday 26 – Sunday 28 August.

Festival goers can prepare to be indoctrinated into the world of Victorian spirits, entering the gates for a brief window of indulgence.

The festival will host Anther, Autonomy, Bass & Flinders, Boatrocker, Chief’s Son, Great Ocean Rd Gin, Grainshaker, Imbue Distillery, JimmyRum, Mountain Distilling Co, Naught Distilling, Ned Whiskey, Brogan’s Way, Reed & Co, East Pole, Puss & Mew, Saint Felix, The Melbourne Gin Company, Timboon and more over three days. 

The four, four-hour sessions will include a Friday evening, Saturday day and evening and Sunday afternoon. With ticket holders receiving a tasting glass to keep, free samples from more than 30 distilleries served either straight up or with mixer, live music programmed by Luile Tavern, light projections and free masterclasses. 

A winter-feast of the senses, the event will include a series of masterclasses and pairing experiences called The Craft. Sessions will be a mix of paid and free, Cocktails & Oysters with Alex Boon from Pearl Diver, an Bottled Cocktails with Kayla Reid of Nick & Nora’s fame and No-Lo Cocktails with Nick Tesar just some of the series highlights. More can be found at: holywaterfest.com.au/programming with further masterclasses to be released. 

Held on the water in Williamtown. A ferry service dubbed, The Reveller, will taxi ticket holders to and from the city, including travel, two cocktails, a grazing station and live music. A return trip is $70.00 per person.

Holy Water is brain-child of Rachelle Watson and Zoe Beyer, who have more than 15 years’ experience running large-scale festivals with cocktail producer and author of The Book of Vermouth & All Day Cocktails, Shaun Byrne, its Industry Partner.

Festival Co-Director Zoe Beyer said the event will see some of Victoria’s best bartenders, chefs and producers take ticketholders on an artisan journey.

“Our approach is to move away from a typical trade-show environment. Leveraging from our experience in arts and entertainment to create an enhanced festival experience with premium beverage at its core,” Zoe said. 

With spirit consumption growing twice as fast (69%) as beer and cider (18%) in bars, and 75 percent of spirits growth coming from premium bottles retailing at over $50, Holy Water is a response to drinking trends and a growing interest in the distillery industry.

“There are more than 300 distilleries in Australia, and Victoria hosts world-class talent. We are working to showcase what’s on offer here, aiming to educate people on the many varieties out there, tasting notes and serving suggestions,” Shaun said. 

On top of tastings, distillers will be producing a range of cocktails available for purchase, there will also be a considerable no-low category component.  The festival main bars will serve a traditional bar offering with beer, wine, plus winter-warming hot toddies. 

Tickets are on sale for $65 per ticket (incl GST and booking fee) and on-sale.


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