Member success story: Lawrenny Estate Distillery




Ross and Mary Mace

Lawrenny Estate Distillery


"Making the best whisky comes down to having the best ingredients - and our American Express® Qantas Business Rewards Card is one of them”. 

How the Card became a key ingredient in the Tasmanian distillery’s recipe for success. 

With a history as rich and diverse as the surrounding countryside, Lawrenny has seen it all over the last 200 years. Located in Tasmania’s picturesque Central Highlands, Lawrenny was founded as a cattle farm when the tycoon, Lt. Edward Lord discovered its fertile paddocks and pristine waters in the early 1800’s.

Fast forward to 1991 when the Mace family purchased Lawrenny Estate, wanting a change away from the demands of their newly sold aviation business. The Maces took to their new roles as cattle farmers with gusto, establishing a thriving beef business, which they ran as a family enterprise for over 25 years.

Ross and Mary Mace were about to hang up their stock whips when an idea struck them one autumn evening a little over 7 years ago. They realised that the property had everything they needed to produce something dear to their hearts, namely single malt whisky. This new adventure into the mysterious world of whisky was sparked by the Mace’s trademark combination of passion, entrepreneurial spirit and never-say-die attitude. These vital ingredients married well with the simple water, barley and yeast needed to make their new spirit of choice.


In the words of Ross, “We decided to have a look around and we were lucky. We had all the buildings here, we had the land, we had the river beside us”. Unlike most start-ups, the Mace’s lack of expertise in this new field proved to be an asset.  They decided to learn from the mistakes others had made and be uncompromising in their vision; namely to produce the best whisky, with the finest ingredients, teamed with top-calibre staff.  This clarity of purpose led them to work with Joe Dinsmoor, (formerly of Archie Rose Distilling Co.) who they promptly appointed Head Distiller at Lawrenny Estate Distillery. 

As with any new business, there were unforeseen challenges along the way. The Lawrenny staff needed to learn new skills and they had to build the infrastructure, which was an expensive and time-consuming process. Moreover, thanks to whisky’s 5-year maturation process, it meant the team at Lawrenny needed to balance their cash flow needs against a product that could only be sold in the distant future.


That’s where the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card stepped in. With access to a dynamic line of unsecured funding1, the Card allowed them to enjoy financial flexibility, proving invaluable in steadily growing their new business The Lawrenny team were also appreciative of the ability of having up to 51 days to pay2 for their larger ticket items.

‘Our secret ingredient?’, reflects Ross, ‘The best people, the finest ingredients and the Card that works for our business’. Using the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card whenever they can, Lawrenny Estate Distillery earn up to 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent of everyday business spend3 – helping to build their business and Qantas Points balance at the same time.  But that was only part of this success story. Ross Mace also credits his business and life partner, Mary for her financial vigilance and tight control of costs over the years. In Mary’s role as the financial brain behind Lawrenny, she developed a close relationship with their American Express relationship manager, which in Ross’ words “helped us tremendously”.

Taking advantage of no additional fee for up to 99 Employee Cards4, Mary also quickly extended their Card access to the senior Lawrenny team, with General Manager Jensen Farley considering it a vital part of their everyday work, or ‘a tool of the trade’, in his words.

The American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card had other benefits. It helped them streamline their business dealings with multiple suppliers thanks to the Card’s dynamic spend capacity1 . This proved to be especially helpful when it came to paying suppliers for the concrete and timber throughout the construction of the new bond store. And with Jensen having to constantly attend trade shows and visit potential clients and distributors, the no pre-set spending limit1 made it easier to pay for last-minute travel expenses.

All that flying meant lots of Qantas Points too, as Card Members earn 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on their Card purchasing Qantas products and services3.   With travel being key to their future expansion plans, the team continue to use the Card to purchase flights  for both regional and long-haul destinations, sometimes using their Qantas Points to upgrade their seats for particularly far-flung business meetings. 

Jensen summed up all these benefits neatly, ‘…knowing it’s there for all your financial needs, that’s a big comfort’. 

But a business is nothing without its people. Ross Mace affectionately describes his staff as the “most important cog in the wheel. And once you realise that, you're going a long way to solving a lot of your problems”.

From the team who hand bottle the whisky, to the labourers who help with the upkeep of the property, everyone’s role is vital to Lawrenny’s success. Not forgetting the ducks waddling around the property taste-testing the barley, for quality control obviously.

It's this perfect mix of passion, the finest ingredients, top-tier staff, and the Card that works for business, which make Lawrenny Estate Distillery a member success story worth raising a glass to.

Make the Card your secret success

Earn 100,000 bonus Qantas Points5  for your business when you apply for the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first two months from Card approval. New American Express Card Members only. T&Cs apply.

Important Information

American Express approval criteria applies. Subject to Terms and Conditions. Fees and charges apply. All information is correct as of 9 August 2023 and is subject to change. This offer is only available to those who reside in Australia. Cards are offered, issued and administered by American Express Australia Limited (ABN 92 108 952 085). ®Registered Trademark of American Express Company:

1. No pre-set spending limit: No pre-set spending limit does not mean unlimited spending. Your purchases are approved based on a variety of factors, including current spending patterns, your payment history, credit records, and financial resources known to us.

2. Extend your cash flow by up to 51 days: Depending on your method of payment, when you make a purchase, when your statement is issued and whether or not you are carrying forward a balance on your account from your previous statement period. If you pay by direct debit, your payment will be processed 10 days after your statement is issued.

3. Earn rates: A business must be a Qantas Business Rewards Member to earn Qantas Points for business. Membership and the earning of Qantas Points as a business are subject to the Qantas Business Rewards Terms and Conditions. Points are earned in accordance with and subject to the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card Points Terms and Conditions. Your business will earn 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 of everyday spend, which does not include annual fees, late payment fee and fees and charges for foreign currencies. Your business will earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent at participating merchants classified as "utilities" including gas, water and electricity providers; "government" including the Australian Taxation Office, the Australian Postal Corporation, federal/state and local government bodies; and "insurance" excluding insurances offered by American Express. Industry specific earn rate may apply when you use a payment account, payment aggregator, services of a third party or online retailers that sell goods for another merchant. For example, a payment made to Local Government bodies processed through a payment aggregator may earn rates at the government earn rate. Your business will earn 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on the following Qantas Products and Services purchased on the Qantas merchant account (i.e., directly from Qantas): Qantas passenger flights (with a QF flight number), Qantas Holidays, Qantas Branded non-airfare products, and Qantas Frequent Flyer and Qantas Club membership joining and annual fees. Excludes Jetstar. For the full list of exclusions, please refer to the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card Points Terms and Conditions.

4. Employee Cards: Employee Card Members must be over 18 years of age. The Business and the Primary Card Member are jointly and severally liable for all Employee Card spending. Each employee is entitled to only one (1) Employee Card.

5. 100,000 bonus Qantas Points: Offer only available to new American Express Card Members who apply, are approved and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases on their new Card in the first two (2) months from the Card approval date. Eligible purchases do not include Card fees and charges, for example annual fees, interest, late payment, cash advances, balance transfers, traveller’s cheques and foreign currency conversion. Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any other Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18-month period are ineligible for this offer. 100,000 bonus Qantas Points will be awarded to the eligible Card Member's Account 8-10 weeks after the spend criteria has been met. Subject to the American Express® Qantas Business Rewards Card Points Terms and Conditions. $450 annual fee applies. This advertised offer is not applicable or valid in conjunction with any other advertised or promotional offer.

We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work, live and fly. ​
We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.