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July 12, 2021

Never Never is going places

Exporting can feel like a journey into the unknown, but with the assistance of the Department for Trade and Investment businesses like Never Never Distilling Co. are growing beyond Australia’s borders.

Never Never Distilling founders George Georgiadis, Sean Baxter and Tim Boast had the world in their sights as they launched their brand from a 16sqm distillery behind Big Shed Brewery.


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This article was produced in collaboration with the Department for Trade and Investment.

Despite the small space, the three founders always hoped to one day become a global brand.

Four years on from their launch, Never Never spirits can be found in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

They were able to achieve this so early in the business’ life thanks to the assistance of the Department for Trade and Investment (DTI).

“To see our gin in bars around the world, it’s just tremendous,” says Tim. “It’s the realisation of a vision and a dream that we have had for probably six or seven years.”

DTI assisted Never Never in jumping the highest hurdles that come with exporting: forming relationships and making connections with key clients and stakeholders, finding advisors to deliver one-on-one support, and sourcing information about the target export market.

My nanna is Scottish and she can order a bottle of Never Never gin in Glasgow. Do you know how cool that is?
– Sean Baxter

“When we first started out, there were so many different regulations, so many different hurdles when it comes to stepping into different markets globally,” says Sean.

“Having the assistance of the department to even manage that and to work through that workload has been absolutely paramount to our success.”

“The advisors we worked with in the department have been instrumental to our export success,” says George, who is also a member of the 40 Under 40 alumni.

“The thing I have appreciated the most is their first-hand experience in business and export, not just from the government perspective but from actually doing it themselves or assisting businesses in doing it.”

The department also provided Never Never with grants so they could reach their full exporting potential.

The Emerging Exporter Grant helped the brand launch into new markets, by helping them enter into international awards; the Export Accelerator Grant helped stimulate marketing campaigns and set up distribution and ecommerce activities; and the eCAP grant built Never Never a consumer channel and set up new wholesalers.


Exporting has also given the team at Never Never opportunities for travel and adventure (in times when it was safe to do so), including business trips into new markets and appearances at international spirits competitions.


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“The highlight for me was visiting some of the most iconic cocktail bars in the world and seeing these incredible bartenders who have been masters of their crafts for decades, hand-carving ice and presenting the cocktails so beautifully,” says George.

“That was the real highlight, as well as some of the cool stuff we have been able to do with the London office, such as put on Fancy Fruit Cups for The Ashes.”

They have also enjoyed the opportunity to build relationships and share their love of gin with customers from further afield– some of whom are new and some more familiar.

“My nanna is Scottish and she can order a bottle of Never Never gin in Glasgow. Do you know how cool that is?” Sean says.

“She is 99 years old, she is locked down in Glasgow during a pandemic, and she is still drinking Never Never gin and thinks it’s the most amazing thing in the world.”

Exporting can feel like a daunting journey into the ‘never-never’, but with the assistance of the DTI, Never Never Distilling has been given the opportunity to flourish.

“Without a doubt, if people are wanting to export as a strategy, then getting in touch with the department is essential,” says George.

“It’s a government service that is specifically set up to help us boost our export and it is very well resourced and has great, capable people with a strong global network.

“It would be kind of silly not to get in touch.”

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