The second year in business has challenges for many - but a global pandemic created new ones for Justin Turner.
The founder of Turner Stillhouse in the Tamar Valley said the closure of the state's borders made a significant difference to visitor numbers, but local support increased.
"We saw a lot of visitation from locals, particularly on weekends - we were used to having people from the north come and visit but we noticed once Tasmanians were encouraged to get out more we saw people from other areas, particularly Hobart," Mr Turner said.
"We saw when the borders reopened a slow trickle coming through, a bit of an increase on weekdays because locals tend to come on weekends.
"It was around two or three weeks before Christmas when we saw a consistent increase in visitation and it hasn't stopped since."
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The growing small producer found it hard to continue to establish and market their brand, with traditional methods including events and tastings off-limits due to restrictions.
"We're two years old as a business and it's extremely important for us to get out and do brand promotion through events and tastings and festivals, but having two-thirds of those opportunities close down to us was challenging," he said.
"We did expand into more retail stores interstate during COVID which was amazing, but we haven't been able to get there and do those tastings to get our name out there."
Mr Turner and his staff are getting ready for this weekend's Gin-uary festival in Hobart, the first big event the brand has showcased at in recent times.
"Really looking forward to the event because things like the Taste of Tasmania have been cancelled," he said.
"To have Gin-uary as basically the only event we can exhibit at this year is huge for us, and we're optimistic that because these other events have been cancelled that we'll get great numbers through the door there."
"Our brand is a bit better known in the north than in the south, even though we have representation in bars, restaurants and bottleshops there now, but there is a number of people that don't know about us and it's a great opportunity to get in front of them."
Turner Stillhouse joins fellow northern producer Darby-Norris Distillery and other Tasmanian distillers on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 December at the Goods Shed Hobart. Tickets for the Gin-uary event are still available online.
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