From mining gold to liquid gold – Reefton distillery to open

The small town of Reefton on the South Island’s West Coast is getting into the business of liquid gold – with a new whisky distillery set to open in the middle of this year.

The Reefton Distilling Co-operative could eventually create as many as 50 jobs and is being hailed as a boon for the town, which has been affected by the downturn in mining and other primary industries in the region. Co-founder Patsy Bass, who was born in Reefton, said she was committed to contributing to the revitalisation of the Coast – which was no longer able to rely on extraction industries for jobs.

Getting the distillery up and running was expected to cost more than $3 million, with nearly $1.4m raised through equity crowdfunding platform Snowball Effect, including many West Coast locals.

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