The Tasmanian spirits business has always had its share of detractors.
Lady Jane Franklin, wife of van Diemen's Land governor John Franklin, famously said she would 'prefer barley be fed to pigs, than it be used to turn men into swine'.
It was 1838 when she convinced her husband to ban whisky distillation in the colony, and what became known as Tasmania went 154 years before the ban was effectively overturned in 1992.
Tasmania's distillers are now celebrating the 30th anniversary since industry pioneer Bill Lark started his whisky distillery in Hobart.
Coinciding with the celebrations is Tasmanian Whisky Week, which kicks off on August 8 and will feature whisky-tasting events across the state, including three in the Launceston area.
The first event in Launceston is a comedy night at Tandy's Alehouse on Elizabeth Street, with a performance from Tasmanian comedian Chris Franklin. Craig Spilsbury, brand manager of Ironhouse Distillery, will also be in attendance.
The second Launceston event is Meet the Makers - a dinner night held at Bluestone Bar & Kitchen at the Sebel Hotel.
"The idea of 'Meet the Maker' is a bit like speed dating," said organiser Tara Challis.
"The distillers will hop from table to table, have their tasting variety and guests will have a chance to ask questions of the distiller and interact on a personal level - and obviously try a sample."
The night includes dinner and canapes and a welcome drink, and is priced at $132 per person.
The Launceston events schedule concludes on August 12, with a tour of three local distilleries organised by Adam Pinkard - co-owner of Adams Distillery. Other events will take place throughout the week in Burnie and Hobart.
Tasmania's whisky industry has come a long way in just 30 years, said David Debattista, sales and marketing manager at Launceston Distillery.
"It has just taken off, we have 80 distilleries now and 30 years ago there was nothing. And the reason is we are seen as a pure environment, that good air, good water, a good place for everybody to be able to create good whisky," he said.
According to Kate Akmentins, executive officer of the Tasmanian Whisky and Spirits Association, the industry is growing at about 20 per cent per annum and is forecast to increase in size to half a billion dollars in annual revenue by 2030.
It hasn't been an easy rise to achieve this, Mr Debattista said.
The industry was buoyed with local successes like Sullivans Cove, which won 'World's Best Single-Malt' at the World Whiskies Awards in 2014 - an event that put Tasmanian whisky on the map, he said.
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