With winemakers and brewers unable to pass on stock to restaurants it’s important for the community to seek out their favourite drops from bottle shops and try a few new drops along the way.

There was panic – for a short moment- when Industry body Retail Drinks Australia implemented product limits to the larger alcohol retailers including customer limits to two cases of beer, two cases of cider or pre-mix spirits, 12 bottles of wine, two casks of cask wine not exceeding 10 litres and two bottles of spirits not exceeding two litres in total.

We soon realised those limits were hardly limits at all! Nevertheless, boutique bottle shops are clear from any restrictions and are a perfect place to show your support for the industry.

In fact, Canberra could be exposed to more variety of booze than ever before. That’s not to say we should be drinking more, but we do have the opportunity to be experimenting with new tastes while we are at home!

Matt Farrah from Farrah’s Liquor Collective says Canberrans aren’t panic buying, they are simply purchasing their usual intake entirely from retailers in lieu of venues being closed.

“We now have more time to experiment, share the love and try different things. Everyone wants to help out and show their support.”

Matt has tasked himself with a grand plan to aid the entire local Australian liquor market.

From droughts to fires and COVID-19 restrictions limiting wine exports and eliminating the need for kegged beer, Matt says local Australian makers are suffering.

“We can help, I have 2400sqm of retail space and growing. I am working on getting in touch with producers around Australia and offering to stock their entire range. Our producer to consumer model means I can pass on the savings to the customer while directly supporting the maker – everyone wins.”

Matt’s business model is designed to stock Australian craft beers, wines, and spirits and deliver extraordinary prices on fantastic quality products. The warehouse has allowed him to work with all producers, even those without access to a supply chain and provide them a shelf to sit on. As more and more makers are being shut off from supply chains due to the closure of hospitality venues, Matt sees his shelf space being safe haven for Aussie producers. Plus, he has opened an online store with home delivery to ensure accessibility to all his new products.

“Breweries are really hurting. They move most of their product through kegs and pubs which has come to a complete stop. Farrah’s has already started stocking craft beers which are otherwise unrepresented or hard to find in Canberra.”

The craft range is looking to increase by 400 varieties, already locals can experience beers such as Land and Sea from Noosa, Stomping Ground from Melbourne and Wilsons from Western Australia, to name a few. Supporting the industry with the crack of a cold one seems an easy feat.

As for wines, Matt says there are some amazing products which no one has heard of as they are usually shut off from supermarket buying groups. Not only does he want to make quality wines more readily available and keep cellar doors open through this crisis, he has the space to support the entire range.

So that leaves us to the last question, what’s left on the other side of Corona time? The short answer is Canberra’s very own hub (in-store and online) for quality wine, priced well with zero wholesale politics.

Available online: farrahsliquorcollective.com