The Spirit of Tasmania’s Flavours of Tassie program, which gives passengers the opportunity to sample the state’s best food and beverages on their Bass Strait crossing, is one of the best marketing tools for their product, say the owners of Henry’s Ginger Beer.
Carolyn Watson-Paul said passengers get to taste the product on board and then, when they arrive in the state and are travelling around on holiday, they look for “our bottles” because they want to taste it again.
“We love to get on board and get talking about our ginger beer and the story behind it,” she said.
“The passengers are just so excited to be coming to Tasmania for a holiday and looking forward to tasting the state’s food and beverages.
“We are just really pleased they get to taste our product first.”
Mrs Watson-Paul said Henry’s Ginger Beer, named after she and husband Marc’s five-year-old son, was established three-years-ago in a shed behind the family home at Penguin.
“The recipe is based on Marc’s mum’s home-brew recipe from years ago.
“Someone at our place tasted it one day and said we should bottle it and sell it, so we did.
“Demand for our product is really strong in cafes, restaurants and provedores in Tasmania, and is also stocked on board the Spirits.
“We are in the process of upgrading our brewery and installing a bottling line that should be operating in a few weeks.
“But we do not want to get too far ahead of ourselves and are growing at a rate we are comfortable with.”
Spirit of Tasmania chief executive officer Bernard Dwyer said the Flavours of Tassie program was an initiative to uncover little-known gems in Tasmania, like Henry’s Ginger Beer.
“The greatest element of Flavours of Tassie is its focus on bringing the local producer closer to our consumer,” he said.
“So far this year we have had 48 suppliers present on 81 sailings, and we are expecting bookings to double by the end of the program.
“We are looking forward to the further growth of this important program, particularly since the ships’ refurbishments have been completed.”
Flavours of Tassie 2016 is a showcase of Tasmanian gourmet food and beverage producers, featuring the state’s renowned cheese, chocolates, preserves, beers, ciders, wines and spirits.
More than 160,000 passengers will be given the opportunity to enjoy this year’s program between May and November, allowing them to meet the makers behind the labels and learn about what goes into their fine products.
The Flavours of Tassie 2016 schedule is available on the Spirit of Tasmania website, and will be continuously updated throughout the coming months.