IT seems that thirsty travellers on the 12 Apostles gourmet trail have nearly drunk the Timboon Railway Shed Distillery dry.
The popular restaurant has experienced a jump in visitors which has left it running low on its signature Timboon single-malt whiskey.
Distillery proprietor Tim Marwood said there had been a 25 per cent increase in visitors compared to last year and they had been forced to ration sales of their precious whiskey supply.
“We originally thought we would have enough stock to last us to April but it looks like we will be running out before then,” Mr Marwood said.
“We’ve even had to stop supplying the bars in Melbourne that stock our whiskey while we get back to having enough stock on hand here.”
Mr Marwood believes that the 12 Apostles gourmet trail, a 78-kilometre loop that highlights the district’s produce and producers, is the reason behind the increased patronage to the distillery and other boutique producers in the region.
“I’ve spoken to other proprietors on the food loop and they’ve all experienced a 25 to 50 per cent increase in visitor rates compared to last year,” Mr Marwood said.
Port Camp-bell visitor information centre co-ordinator Mark Cuthell attributes the success of the trail and the businesses on it to the growing reputation of the “fantastic” products and produce on offer, combined with the appeal of the region’s beautiful coastal setting.
“We really have a little bit of everything from cheese and chocolate to wine and whiskey,” Mr Cuthell said.
“When we start to mention it to people jaws drop and mouths start to salivate.
“There’s a lot of quality products and producers down here and people are starting to realise it.
“People are switching on that there’s more to do and short trips are getting longer.”