Bickford's owner and managing director Angelo Kotses is excited about the proposed distillery and brewery planned for the old Kingscote Police Station at the jetty precinct.
Mr Kotses and other Bickford's executives toured the site on Friday morning, November 15, together with Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway.
Bickford's and the minister were on Kangaroo Island to participate in the "Towards Developing the Economic Agenda" for KI seminar.
"I'm so excited about the project because this place is so special, we want to do it right," Mr Kotses said.
The Bickford's Kangaroo Island distillery and microbrewery will be sited on 4800 square metres of land purchased from the State Government.
The old Kingscote Police Station and prison cells building will be the centrepiece of the development, similar to Bickford's existing Twenty Third Street Distillery at Renmark.
Twenty Third Street is also a new incarnation of a century-old landmark and the Kingscote distillery will be the same.
The development extends out onto the large car park that locals refer to as the "helicopter landing pad".
Mr Kotses said architects and engineers will be employed to determine how best to incorporate any new construction with the old buildings.
It is hoped that all things going well, construction could begin by the end of 2020, once approval from the Kangaroo Island Council had been obtained.
The bespoke alcohol distilling and beer brewing equipment could however take 12 to 18 months to be built, and it was expected that any whiskey distilled would be branded as KI product.
The KI distillery would also incorporate a visitor centre showcasing the Bickford's story and product, while a dining area would serve up "gastropub" food such as burgers and wood-fired pizza.
Mr Kotses said while the offerings would be similar to the Twenty Third Street, there would be a real focus on local produce.
"If they are catching whiting 5km offshore then we want that on the menu," he said.
Bickford's already purchases KI barley for its beer and whiskey and this local connection would be emphasised at the new establishment.
"We want to compliment the existing distillery and brewery on the Island," Mr Kotses said. "What I want to do is make the pie bigger, they can keep their share and everybody will be happy."
Mr Ridgway said there were no immediate plans for the rest of the Kingscote jetty precinct area, including the big blue shed and pelican feeding area, that remained under State Government control.
Both Bickford's and the minister were also excited about SeaLink's plans to resume Adelaide to Kingscote fast ferry service, which would tie in nicely with new distillery.