Our Story – Lírah Is:

  • Passionate: We love vinegar – it’s what we do! We enjoy showing people how to use it and are committed to raising  awareness of and education about this ancient and versatile ingredient
  • Visionary: We have built a state of the art vinegar facility in a country where vinegar usage is traditionally low. However, as Australian’s love of good food continues to grow we expect the future of vinegar to imitate the strong growth of  olive oil, coffee, wine, olives and cheese over the past 20 years.
  • Responsive: We understand the different needs of our amateur and professional users. Our retail products are presented in elegant glass bottles. Our foodservice products are packaged in kitchen friendly plastic bottles for professional use. We also make a range of sweet, dry, red, white and fruit vinegars to give chefs the tools they need to create their own dishes.
  • Skilled: Our in-house skills include formal, tertiary qualifications in Science, Winemaking, business management and accounting. We also have formal vinegar making qualifications gained in Europe during a vinegar making scholarship.
  • Resourced: Lirah operates from new well-equipped facility purpose built for high quality vinegar making.  The facility allows us to employ both ultra-modern and highly traditional vinegar making methods to deliver premium vinegar.
  • Australian: Fully Australian owned and operated.

History

After embarking on a journey through the traditional vinegar-makers of Europe, Lírah founder, Ian Henderson made it his mission to create a product that would help Australians appreciate superior quality vinegar, and that’s how Lírah was born.

 

Under the Lírah brand, Ian has built the finest mix of vinegar cultures, equipment, and people, to become Australia’s premier provider of gourmet vinegars for the fine-home-dining and fine-food service markets.

 

Today, Lírah operates from a state of the art, purpose-built factory in Stanthorpe, in Southern Queensland’s famous, Granite Belt, in an impressive, custom-built facility where thousands of litres of vinegar are produced every week.

After embarking on a journey through the traditional vinegar-makers of Europe, Lírah founder, Ian Henderson made it his mission to create a product that would help Australians appreciate superior quality vinegar, and that’s how Lírah was born.

 

Under the Lírah brand, Ian has built the finest mix of vinegar cultures, equipment, and people, to become Australia’s premier provider of gourmet vinegars for the fine-home-dining and fine-food service markets.

 

Today, Lírah operates from a state of the art, purpose-built factory in Stanthorpe, in Southern Queensland’s famous, Granite Belt, in an impressive, custom-built facility where thousands of litres of vinegar are produced every week.

Timeline

2003

  • First commercial vinegar production starts with dry vinegars in retail sizes only

2004

  • First exports of retail products to the USA
  • First Australian domestic sales in Queensland

2005

  • First foodservice products launched in plastic 1L bottles
  • Purpose-designed and built vinegar facility completed

2006

  • Ian Henderson awarded prestigious Sir Winston Churchill fellowship to study vinegar making in Europe
  • Verjus products added to the existing vinegar product lines
  • First exports to Canada begin
  • Bulk vinegar production as an ingredient for other food manufacturers begins

2007

  • Sweet vinegars released to support existing dry vinegar

2008

  • First exports to New Zealand commence
  • Caramelised Balsamic range added to the Lirah portfolio

2010

  • Major expansion to vinegar facility and new warehouse finished

2012

  • Major staff expansion – new vinegar makers, dedicated quality managers and admin staff join the Lirah family

2017

  • Official opening of the Australian Vinegar head office and innovation centre in Stanthorpe

Awards

2016 Delicious Produce Awards

2013 & 2012 Delicious Produce Awards

2012 Sydney Royal Fine food Show

2008 Sydney Royal Fine food Show

2006 Churchill Trust

Ian Henderson (2006 – Vinegar Making)

 

This prestigious scholarship was awarded to study vinegar manufacturing from foods currently in oversupply in Australia (apples, pears, citrus, sugar, wine grapes) as a means of finding alternative markets and uses for this produce. Ian studied the art of vinegar making in Austria, Italy, Spain and France.

Our Team

The Lirah team consists of a dedicated team of food loving professionals. Successfully combining a variety of backgrounds and skills, the team strives each day to produce the very best vinegar products. The shared  love of good food is a cornerstone of our company culture. Every week, the team enjoys a ‘company lunch’, prepared by a different team member – all of whom are not only very knowledgeable in vinegar production but also how to use vinegar to enhance food experiences.

Ian Henderson

CEO and winemaker/vinegar maker

  • Bachelor of Science (physics, mathematics)
  • A. Degree Applied Science (winegrowing)
  • Winston Churchill Fellow (2006 – Vinegar Making)

Ian is the most experienced and technically proficient vinegar maker in Australia. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations at Lirah, as well as new product development. Ian also provides a comprehensive consulting and vinegar education service together with offering product development assistance to vinegar users. In addition to his five years of vinegar making experience, Ian has 10 years of professional winemaking experience in large winemaking enterprises.

Robyn Henderson

Chief Financial Officer

  • Bachelor of Business and Accounting

Robyn is responsible for all financial matters at Lírah plus corporate governance responsibilities. She has over 15 years of accounting and computer accounting experience.

Our passionate staff

If you want to work at Lirah you have to love food; it’s the shared passion for food, cooking and quality Australian produce that binds the team. Weekly staff lunches, regular company restaurant trips and food escape weekends are all part of working at Lirah. Most of our team have science discipline backgrounds but have found a place where science and precision can mix with food enthusiasm to create exceptional products.

Our Vinegar Maker

Ian is the most respected vinegar and highly qualified vinegar maker in Australia. Using his extensive education and work experience in Europe, in combination with his Australian winemaking qualifications, Ian has created in Lirah, a unique fusion of old-world methods and modern-Australian style.

 

Ian travels the world educating trade and consumers on how vinegar is made and how to use vinegar with confidence in cuisine. Many of Australia’s leading chefs use Lirah products and work directly with Ian in the development of dishes for their restaurants. Ian’s skill and expertise is also sought by many Australian major food manufacturers to help them create new and innovative products using vinegars. Lirah also produces custom-made vinegars to assist food manufacturers in food processing.

Testimonials