Wildlife enthusiasts will soon be bringing home extra luggage from their Kangaroo Island visits with craft brewery and distillery business Mighty Craft (ASX: MCL) securing a $500k grant to develop a distillery on the picturesque island famous for its array of birds, beaches, seals and wildlife.
The $500k comes from the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) and has been granted to wholly-owned Mighty Craft subsidiary Kangaroo Island Spirits (KIS) which was acquired by Mighty Craft in March 2020.
“We are getting set to take one of Australia’s most Internationally recognised gin brand, Kangaroo Island Spirits, to the World,” said Mighty Craft Managing Director, Mark Haysman.
“Upgrades to its humble site origins at Cygnet River will allow Kangaroo Island Distillery to become one of Australia’s most iconic experiential distilleries, attracting global visitation and contribution to the broader economy.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the State Government to make this a reality.”
While the SATC grant will cover the bulk of development costs, Mighty Craft will co-invest in facility upgrades that will increase the commercial distillery and storage facilities to meet demand for KIS brands. Initially, the distillery will have production capacity for 200,000 bottles but the additional upgrades will enable expansion should it be considered at a later date.
The upgrade will also accelerate Mighty Craft’s whisky strategy to house 2,000 barrels of aged Kangaroo Island Whisky by 2025.
“Kangaroo Island is a premium tourism destination in South Australia and we are delighted to support this project of Mighty Craft and Kangaroo Island Spirits which will help promote the region and attract additional visitors,” said SATC CEO, Rodney Harrex.
“It will enable the distillery to be involved in a wider a range of events, diversify its range, create jobs and boost its capacity for training.”
Mighty Craft previously traded on the ASX under the name Founders First Limited (ASX: FFL) before undertaking a re-brand and name change in November 2020.
The Company was significantly impacted by COVID-19 where restaurants and pubs, key customers of their distribution business, endured extended shutdowns through the peak of the pandemic. However, in recent months Mighty Craft has been investing in new venue acquisitions.
For the Half-Year ending 31 December 2020, Mighty Craft reported total income of $12.9 million which represented a 185% increase. However, this still resulted in a $5.8m net loss due to one-off items and the lingering effects of COVID lockdowns.
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