The History of Bourbon Whiskey in Australia

By Keg & Brew   /  

In a previous article (How Is Bourbon Different to Other Whiskey?), we discussed the differences between bourbon whiskey and other types of whiskey but what about the origins of bourbon whiskey and when it became popular in Australia? We’re not just craft beer nerds here at The Keg & Brew in Surry Hills, we’re also obsessed with all things bourbon so read on to find out more!

bourbon whiskey history in Australia Keg & Brew

About Bourbon Whiskey

Bourbon whiskey has been distilled since the late 18th century in the USA, primarily in Kentucky and other parts of Southern America. Its main ingredient is corn and it’s thought the British and Irish settlers were the people that created and refined bourbon whiskey as we know it today. An interesting fact about bourbon is that like other drinks such as port (Portugal), champagne (Champagne region of France) and scotch whiskey (Scotland), it is an origin-protected drink since 1964 meaning true bourbon can only be manufactured in the USA.

Following the arrival of the first fleet to Australia in the late 18th century, rum and brandy were by far the most popular spirits despite the Irish and Scottish influence and their knowledge of whiskey. It wasn’t until the late 19th and into the 20th century that whiskey in general (bourbon included) became a popular drink of choice here in ‘Straya. Here at the Keg & Brew we’re sure glad it did finally gain momentum and if you drop in to us and taste some of our exquisite bourbon collection, you’ll understand why!