About Us

Who is the Distiller’s Institute?

About our team

Anne Gigney

Anne is the Director of the Tasmanian Whisky Academy and has trained over 350 of Australia and New Zealand’s distillers. She is a Board member of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (APac) and advocate for education in Australia’s distilling industry.

Anne’s passion is helping others make a success of their dreams and drinking delicious brandies, whiskies and gins. 

Troy Trewin

Since 2011 Troy has been managing and growing whisky businesses in Australia and New Zealand, as CEO of three separate and well-respected brands. In recent years he has been advising other up-and-coming distilleries, or those already in a fast-growth phase.

Troy’s passion is helping distillery founders grasp the true economics and realities of growing a spirit business from nothing, or with limited capital, to something of meaning in the industry and great value. Since early 2017 Troy has been the Chairperson of fast-growing craft brewery, Hobart Brewing Co – the second largest craft brewer in Tasmania.

In late 2019 Troy started hosting a 30 minute weekly podcast interviewing small business owners with 5 to 30 team members, who grew their business to something bigger. Industries interviewed so far include spirits, beer, cider, tech, pharmacy, retail, restaurant, ecommerce and professional services.

Brett Steel

Brett is the Founding Director and General Manager of Spirit Thief Distilling Co, established in 2015 as an independent bottling company. With capital investment secured for the company in 2018, Spirit Thief now has a variety of casks ready for future releases from a number of Tasmanian distilleries and around the world, and is now transitioning into brewing, distilling and maturing their own whisky in Huntingfield Tasmania. 

Brett was the founder of Tasmanian Whisky Tours in 2013 which later became Drink Tasmania Premium Tours and has five years experience taking guests to Tasmanian breweries, wineries and distilleries in a tourism capacity.

Ian Thorn

B.Sc. Dipl.Brew. Dipl.Dist.

Ian is a technical brewer and distiller who has worked in the beverage manufacturing industry since 2006. In that time he has worked in both the UK and Australia in small, medium and large companies.

Ian started his career as a Brewery Microbiologist (Scottish & Newcastle) before going on to become a Head Brewer of a small English brewery (Stroud Brewery). In the whisky industry he has worked as a Distiller, a Distillery Manager, a Technical Manager (Starward), and his current primary role is that of Operations Manager for a new Rye Grain Distillery in Melbourne (The Gospel Distillers).