Founding Distilleries – The Future

Lark Distillery, Sullivans Cove, Hellyers Road and Overeem.

Distillers have been making whisky in Australia since the 1820s, when some trailblazers started distilling in New South Wales and Tasmania (then known as Van Diemen’s Land).

The Tassie industry was wound up not long after with 1839’s Distillation Prohibition Act. Though the act was repealed in 1847, it took 150 years for the state’s industry to come back to life, when Lark Distillery founders Bill and Lyn Lark, started producing whisky in the 1990s.

The year of (legal) establishment

1992 – Lark

1994 – Sullivans Cove

1997 – Hellyers Road Distillery

2007 – Overeem

After Federation, Australia became the fourth-largest whisky-producing nation in the world.

From there, a series of mergers gradually consolidated the industry and, in the 1980s, the last Australian whisky distilleries closed their doors, winding up 160 years of near-continuous production. That’s when Tasmanians got to work and the revival began.

To the Future – This event will hear from contemporaries of each distillery of where they are now and what lies in the future.

Your MC’s for the evening will be Julian White and Lachlan Watt from Melbourne’s famous Whisky & Alement.

Heather Tillott from Sullivans Cove

Chris Thompson from Lark Distillery

Jane Overeem from Overeem and

Fiona Coutts from Hellyers Road

The distilleries will be presenting two expressions in the four-course meal, expertly matched by Tesoro Head Chef, Glen Tilly. Glen Tilly has matched 4 beautiful courses to expressions from four eminent distilleries and will talk about each course and why their whisky matches so well with the Tasmanian produce.

Tesoro is located in the Mövenpick hotel, the first Mövenpick hotel to open in Australia. Mövenpick Hotel Hobart brings understated European elegance to Hobart’s hotel scene.


The distilling company that Bill and Lyn Lark founded in the early 1990s has profoundly shaped the current Australian spirits scene. Most of the Australian whisky distilleries that have emerged in the last three decades have been influenced by the Larks.

Sullivans Cove

Sullivans Cove whisky distillery was setup shortly after Lark in 1994, in Sullivans Cove, Tasmania. It was then called simply Tasmania Distillery.

When Patrick Maguire, a former pathology lab worker, took the reins of the business in 2004, he set out to produce the best possible whisky his skills could muster. His efforts received the ultimate reward when Sullivans Cove French Oak won world’s best single malt at the World Whiskies Awards in 2014. This was the first time a distillery outside of Scotland or Japan had won this category.

Hellyers Road

Hellyers Road Distillery was licenced in 1997 and has since been continuously mashing, fermenting, distilling and maturing all its single malt whisky in the same distillery ever since, meaning that, while it is of course not the oldest whisky brand, Hellyers Road Distillery is the oldest operating whisky distillery in Australia.

The original distillers, Brian Poke and Brian Halpin, have sadly passed away but as the beneficiaries and custodians of their legacy, today’s team at Hellyers Road benefits from the foresight of Poke and Halpin who laid down whisky early on and set them aside for long term maturation. Today, Hellyers Road houses an unrivalled share of Tasmania’s oldest single malt whisky.


Casey Overeem, founded Overeem Distillery in 2007 as the fourth distillery in Tasmania.

His first distilling experience in Norway in the 1980’s fuelled his passion, and following years of research and experimentation, his ambitious quest to create a whisky that ‘would proudly stand alongside the best whiskies in the world’ began.
A meticulous and precise craftsman with a keen eye for detail, Casey practised patience throughout all aspects of the distillery. From long fermentation times to long and gentle maturations, Casey’s dedication to quality never faltered.
After launching the first releases of Overeem Single Malt Whisky in 2012 alongside his daughter Jane as marketing and sales manager, the brand quickly gained popularity throughout the country and received global praise. Nationally, a loyal following formed, seeing releases regularly sell out within minutes.

Today, Jane Overeem and her husband Mark continue Casey’s legacy, following the practices and principles on which Overeem Distillery was founded. They continue to grow the brand’s popularity both nationally and internationally and remain true to Casey’s original ambition.

Glen Tilly, Head Chef

Tesoro Modern Italian

Tesoro head chef Glen Tilly is an expert in combining the best of Tasmania’s growers, farmers and makers with classic technique to deliver Hobart diners an immersive experience that explores the art of Italian cuisine. With years of experience in well-known restaurants around Australia, 2020 saw Tilly seeking a lifestyle change and Tasmania came calling.

Tilly loves that Tesoro’s name translates to ‘treasure’ in Italian because that’s exactly how he sees Tasmania’s delicious local wonders. The name also ties in with his personal food ethos and cooking style. “As a chef, trusting your supplier to give you something interesting and exciting to work with is key. It’s also a lot more interesting for the guest when you can tell them all about the farm their food came from,” said Tilly.

Teasing out the best in each ingredient without too much intervention is something that Tilly takes seriously. At Tesoro, Tasmanian meats are dry-aged on site, and Tilly’s kitchen team hand make fresh pasta and slow-ferment their own pizza dough. The menu and drinks list are designed to be a dazzling road trip around the state.

“If you’re short on time, just tell our team you’d like the ‘Chef’s Roadtrip’ menu and you’ll be able to experience the best Tasmania has to offer. I have no doubt you’ll eventually be back to eat your way around more of this amazing state.”