Just five months ago, Adam Saunders and Adam Pinkard were confronting an unfolding tragedy as fire gutted their distillery shed, destroying equipment and leaving a staff member with burns to 40 per cent of his body.
Yet the ongoing recovery has been quicker than expected - both for Greg Longmore on his rehabilitation from the serious injuries, and for Adams Distillery as it works to rebuild with $10 million plans to become one of the region's major tourism drawcards.
Slabs were poured for a 700-square-metre distillery shed earlier this month, 2.5-times larger than the previous shed.
The new distillery would triple the production capacity of the previous one, making about one million litres per year. The fire of February 9 at the former direct-fired stills was caused by an "accidental spill", and so the new distillery would be more automated using a modern design, Mr Saunders said.
The first three of a possible 12 bond stores are also under construction at the site near Perth, each holding 100,000 litres of whisky in barrels, allowing the existing shed to be used for visitors and functions rather than bond storage.
Mr Pinkard, co-founder of Adams Distillery, said they always had plans to expand in the next few years, just not as quickly.
"We always intended to do this, but hadn't intended to do it yet, so this had just brought our plans forward," he said.
"This year we've had quite a few international award wins for our whisky, and what we'd like to do is be able to bring that international level of quality in a more affordable price, and the way we do that is economies of scale.
"We're going to put a lake in, an island, have weddings, an olive canopy grove down the driveway, seal the roads, continue to improve and do the best we can. So it's not just functional as a site, but a tourist destination of choice."
The pair hope to have the distillery shed and initial bond stores finished by about October, before new stills, fermenters, mash tun, pumps, tanks and other equipment are installed by April.
While the recovery from the fire has been rapid, the temporary loss of whisky production will need to be managed over the coming years. About 100,000 bottles won't be produced this year to be sold in three years' time, so instead, the bottles already in bond will need to be spaced out to cover the gap.
Once at an improved production capacity however, the two Adams had even more plans for the coming 10 to 15 years.
Mr Saunders said their ultimate goal was to make the distillery a tourism destination.
"We're doing this now, but in our minds, we've got even bigger plans over the next 10 to 15 years to build something spectacular out on the highway," he said.
"It will be like a great big Scottish distillery with big open windows, several sets of stills, then you drive down the highway at night and see them gleaming under spotlight.
"We've got aspirations to become the Buffalo Trace of single malt whisky in Tasmania, and have one of the biggest distilleries around."
Since the fire, Mr Longmore was able to leave hospital months earlier than expected with a full compression suit.
Mr Saunders said it was great to hear how his recovery was coming along.
"He's been outstanding and really impressed the doctors in leaps and bounds, he's far further in progress compared to what they thought he would be," he said.
"We're really lucky and happy that that's the continuing news with recovery and rehabilitation."
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