Buying Ethanol in Australia

Buying ethanol in Australia. As an Australian supplier of edible grade ethanol, you can buy ethanol in Australia (500 ml) from Harris Organic in small quantities.

The ins and outs of purchasing alcohol takes a lot of explanation to customers. In this post, we’ll look at the types of ethanol and alcohol available, and who is eligible to buy them.

For solvent use, ethanol is also known as “metho”, ethyl alcohol, Everclear or alcohol can be a useful compound.

Ethyl alcohol (ethanol) is made by the fermentation of sugars by yeast.

Once the wine or beer is distilled, it has a wide range of uses. Ethanol can be used as a solvent, an antiseptic or sanitiser, an ingredient in fuels, and tinctures, and mostly as a drink, like beer, wine or brandy.

Where to buy ethanol in Australia

Where to buy ethanol in Australia? Lots of people ask chemists and bottle shops to buy small quantities of ethanol. Ethanol is also known as ethyl alcohol, for tinctures and other uses. But, as food grade 95% alcohol is poisonous if ingested, it is not found in bottle shops.

For human consumption, ethanol can be diluted to be ingested. We recommend the ethanol percentage be less than 40% for safe consumption.

Yet, Harris Organic has small quantities of 95% ethanol available to send to postal addresses in Australia.

How do I buy ethanol in Australia?

It is easy to buy ethanol in Australia, as it is readily available from Harris Organic Wine and Spirits. You do not need to have a permit to have small quantities of ethanol in Australia.

Tax on Ethanol in Australia

The excise tax on alcohol in Australia is large because ethanol is so popular. Ethyl alcohol as a component of alcoholic beverages, the sale of beer, wine or brandy in Australia has excise tax added.

The Australian Tax office imposes the excise tax also called the Australian alcohol tax.

This means, that if you’re looking to buy pure ethanol in Australia for any purpose, you need to pay the Australian alcohol tax. Included in the bottle price is the excise tax.

If you buy a bottle of vodka, whiskey, gin or brandy you will pay about Australian $22-$25 of excise tax per 700 mL bottle. Depending on the level of ethanol concentration in the spirit.

alcohol 500ml
Ethanol in Australia- Pure Alcohol 500ml

Different types of high percentage ethanol

There are different types of high percentage ethanol and high strength alcohol available in Australia. Some have poison added so that it is undrinkable. This is called denatured alcohol.

Denatured vs Undenatured Ethanol

There are two types of undenatured alcohol available to buy: Denatured and Undenatured ethanol.

What is Denatured ethanol in Australia?

‘Denatured’ ethanol and denatured alcohol are unrestricted to buy in Australia, as it has an additive that makes it unfit for human consumption. The additive makes the ethanol poisonous and tastes and smells foul.

Methylated Spirit contains about 10% methanol and other additives. Additives such as denatonium benzoate are the most common samples. This makes the “Metho” unpalatable.

The Methylated spirits alcohol percentage is normally about 95 per cent, made up of a combination of alcohols.

A high percentage of ethanol alcohol can be dangerous. Dangerous if consumed and dangerous if ignited. You can use this in your metho stove, to light fires and keep warm.

Denatured metho alcohol is widely available and cheap to buy from hardware stores. Used for window cleaning with newspaper or as fuel for a “metho” stove. Therefore, due to the poisonous effects of methanol when absorbed into the body, it cannot be used in hand sanitiser or food production.

Undenatured Ethanol Alcohol for sale in Australia

There are no restrictions on natural or undenatured ethanol alcohol (read 95% vodka) bought in Australia. This is the purest highest percentage of alcohol you can get. The alcohol percentage can vary from 37 to 95%.

However, if you’re looking for a higher grade with an alcohol percentage of 95 per cent use high-grade alcohol. High-grade alcohol or Everclear or pure ethanol is the product you can purchase here.

Uses for Ethanol (pure alcohol)

 There are a great many uses where only natural ethanol pure alcohol will suffice. Getting a small quantity is now pretty easy without needing a Concessional Spirit Permit from the Tax office.

  • Tinctures
  • Limoncello
  • Antiseptic
  • Fortifying wine
  • Making spirits like gin
  • Food application, like icing
  • Gin making

Can you buy ethanol in Australia?

Occasionally we are asked if you can buy ethanol in Australia. As you will find, despite a few myths, it is legal to have ethanol in Australia. Try Australian-made Harris Organic food grade ethanol.

Is organic ethanol the same as alcohol?

Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, is the same chemical that is in all alcoholic drinks including brandy spirits. We make organic ethanol from our organic grape wine. Organic alcohol is typically used in tinctures, perfumes and fragrances.

Large quantities of Ethanol

If you want large quantities of ethanol and work for an institution you may apply for an alcohol excise permit. With a permit, you can obtain ethanol free of Australian alcohol tax for the following uses:

  • approved industrial,
  • scientific,
  • manufacturing,
  • medical,
  • veterinary or
  • educational purpose,

it won’t be too difficult to get approval to buy alcohol with an excise exemption permit.

Ethanol uses by local, state, and commonwealth department regulations including the taxation office.

The Australian Tax Office controls the use of alcohol in Australia.

Some of the approved uses of ethanol are listed below:

  • Fortifying Australian wine or grape must
  • Manufacturing
  • medicines, including vaccines
  • essences and flavours
  • mouthwashes
  • printing inks
  • foodstuffs
  • Sterilising equipment
  • Preserving specimens

Permitted use of alcohol is listed above. Please contact the ATO excise office, if you aren’t sure.

Applying for a Permit to Buy Ethanol

If you believe your planned use of Australian ethanol will be approved, all you need to do now is submit an Application For Approval to Use Spirits. This is a simple process. Apply with the form from the ATO here and follow the steps provided. 

Additionally, it should be clarified that the application is for the company/partnership/trust and not the employee.  On the permit application form, the declaration can only be completed by a primary contact or a person authorised by a primary contact.

Depending on your use case, permits are generally valid for the following periods:

  • Permit for one-off specified quantity: six weeks
  • Initial ongoing permit: one year
  • Renewals of ongoing permit: five years.

Then, buy the allowed quantity of ethanol during that period only. During your permit period, you will also need to keep clear records to show how you are using it.

This means:  

  • The purposes for which you used it
  • The amount you hold
  • The amount you obtained
  • The date you obtained it
  • The name of your supplier

But, you have to keep records for at least five years. 

The following uses will not be approved:

·         as a beverage or in the production of a beverage (other than as an incidental input);

·         in any product (including products that are not beverages) that may be consumed for an intoxicating effect.

·         as a fuel (or a component of fuel)

·         on-supply to another person (unless expressly permitted by the CEO in an approval granted under subsection 77FF(1) of the Excise Act.

We may also request that the client provide additional information to substantiate their eligibility for the permit.

And lastly by all means you are encouraged to contact the ATO if you have any queries.  The ATO number is 1300 137 290. 

Purchasing Pure Alcohol and Ethanol in Australia

You can buy pure alcohol and ethanol in Australia without an approved permit if you want a small quantity. We can supply you with small quantities of alcohol Ethanol, it is easy.  Go to our alcohol shop alcohol page and we will post it to you.

Can you buy pure alcohol in Australia?

You buy pure alcohol (ethanol) in Australia by shopping online at Harris Organic Wine and Spirits online shop. They post small quantities across Australia.

Where to buy denatured alcohol?

Where to buy denatured alcohol or buy denatured ethanol has a simple answer. You can buy denatured alcohol or denatured ethanol from your local hardware store or supermarket. It is called methylated spirits in Australia.

Is vodka ethanol alcohol?

Some Australian alcoholic spirits, such as vodka, contain a few flavour compounds but consist essentially of 40% ethanol and water.


There is a lot to know about the definitions of alcohol and the terms used like ethanol.

Duncan Harris – Bio

Duncan has been working in the Swan Valley wine industry for over 25 years. Firstly, he would help out on weekends at Riverbank Winery, while looking for land to grow grapes in the Swan Valley.

In 1995 Duncan attended the Spring in the Valley festival and went to Baskerville Hall. He noted that the horse paddock opposite renowned John Kosovich wines (formerly Westfield) was an ideal place to grow excellent wine grapes.

A professional mechanical engineer, Duncan holds a great interest in electric cars and wind power. In 1989, Duncan attended a windpower conference in Houston Texas while visiting windpower sites in Europe, California and Hawaii.

October 1998 was the beginning of his winemaking journey. The Baskerville property was advertised in the Sunday Times newspaper.

So, 1999 was the first vintage at the new property. We made a Shiraz and a Chenin blanc with the assistance of winemaker David McNamara.

In 2007 Duncan used waste grapes to make the first organic brandy in Australia whilst building stills and teaching himself distilling. Later, he found out his Irish great-great-great-grandfather was also a Sydney illegal distiller.

The 1921 edition of the Handbook of Horticulture and Viticulture was republished by Duncan in 2007.

Duncan continued to make top-quality organic wines as well as organic brandy, organic vodka and Pisco brandy.