After 2 years and more than 1,000 guests visiting distilleries in Tasmania’s south, there was a desire for us to extend our breadth into other beverage experiences in the state. We had already been visiting cider-houses by request on private tours, the Department of State Growth asked us to look into beer tours (which had been on our radar for a while and started in mid-2016) and wine was an obvious bed-fellow that had been left aside. But in forming Drink Tasmania we really wanted to offer an experience that would encompass a mixture of the best of the best, that would breakdown the idea that people might only be interested in whisky, or wine, or cider or beer. Hence our Signature Tour was born that allows guests to sample them all. Now all we needed was the guides!
Our guides specialise in the craft beverages industry, having been winemakers, whisky producers, bartenders, restaurant owners and researchers we have customised our tours to reflect what we love about the various industries in Tasmania and to show the vast diversities across producers. We have worked closely with producers to gain access to areas that aren’t always available to the public. Our relationships with the industry is what sets us apart and is what makes Drink Tasmania’s Premium Tours, truly memorable.
Brett Steel, CEO/Director & Guide.
Brett founded Tasmanian Whisky Tours in 2013, working with the industry to create meaningful, behind-the-scenes, tourism experiences with Tasmania’s burgeoning whisky and spirits producers. He is a committee member of the Tasmanian Whisky Producers Association and was co-curator of the inaugural Tasmanian Whisky Week in 2016. Brett comes from a strong wine family background, was born in Adelaide, South Australia and grew up very near to McLaren Vale’s famous wine district.
After studying journalism he worked as a cellar-hand making red wine in Renmark, before becoming an editor in the UK. Years later when he returned to Australia, with an invigorated interest in single-malt whisky, he was drawn to Tasmania and made the permanent move to the island in January 2012. He has since worked with Moorilla Winery, McHenry Distillery and Lark Distillery and is a Director of Spirit Thief Distilling Company. Brett is proudly raising his young family in Tasmania and lives with his partner in Hobart.
Patrick Johnston, Director & Guide.
Patrick was born in Hobart and has lived and worked in many regions of Tasmania. In 1998 he and a friend established Blustery Banks vineyard near Devonport in the state’s North West. After a long career in the export vegetable industry in 2000 he purchased Glo Glo’s Restaurant in Latrobe. In 2006 he sold the restaurant and moved to Bicheno on Tasmania’s East coast, where he worked three vintages at Freycinet Vineyard and Winery during that time.
In 2009 he moved back to Hobart, built the first Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden in Tasmania at Moonah Primary School and then spent 18 months at Stefano Lubiana Wines establishing a bio dynamic restaurant garden and orchard. Since 2011 Patrick has been a tour guide with a focus on wine and food tourism and has a broad experience of both beverage and food industries.
Angela Reeve, Tour Guide.
Angela is 6th generation Tasmanian who spent a number of years teaching and working through Asia before settling in Montréal Québec, where she studied French and Fine Arts. Combining her passion for travel, French and the arts, Angela established an innovative arts hostel and gallery in a heritage warehouse in Old Montreal. Working in this highly creative environment gave her a deep love and respect for those who create, and while in Montreal she gained a new found interest in perfume making alongside whisky and cider production.
Since returning to Tasmania Angela has been involved in communications with La Maison du Whisky for Lark Distillery, negotiated improved exposure of Tasmanian whisky through international distribution channels and has developed a European distributor database of networks across France, Switzerland and Belgium for Tasmania’s whisky industry. She loves teaching French, continues her creative pursuits and continues to work towards developing interstate and international networks for Tasmanian products.