“And it’s the only thing I do that is really ‘my project’, so I have complete control. I’m covering the trends and the stories that really interest me, but that might not necessarily get across the line if I was pitching them to an editor.”
Despite a growing audience and sponsors for the show, Atkinson admits the series is “barely breaking even”.
“I’ve tried really hard to make the content evergreen. I thought that this was going to be something that would take a while to build an audience, and it would help if I had episodes that would still be of interest to people a year or two after I’ve put them out.”
Atkinson has identified a few trends in the drinks industry over four seasons, and interviewed the people behind them. This includes the rise of low- or no-alcohol beer and wine, which is driven by “consumers being more health conscious”.
“I met a bunch of Kiwi wine makers who are pioneering low-alcohol wine. And Brewdog, who are known for their quite aggressively flavoured beers, recently released an alcohol-free version of their flagship pale ale.”
And if you’re looking for the perfect Christmas gift in a bottle, Atkinson says: “You can’t go past Four Pillars. They’ve just won Gin Distiller of the Year at the International Wine and Spirits awards, which has really put Australian gin on the map. All their gins are fantastic, across the board. I chatted with Cam MacKenzie, the head distiller, last season, who told me the Four Pillars story.”
“On the whisky front, Archie Rose has recently launched the first of its whiskies, and I really like the rare unmalted rye whisky, and again, I had Dave Withers from Archie Rose on the podcast last season where we talked a lot about some of the university’s whiskies that Archie Rose is making using unusual malts.”