Government brews up plans to strengthen Brisbane's craft beer scene

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Brisbane, QLD

Queensland will become the first state in Australia to brew up a dedicated craft beer strategy.

The Queensland government announced a working group on Wednesday night as part of its plan to support the local craft brewing industry.
The working group's members include representatives from the Independent Brewing Association, Ballistic Beer Co, Green Beacon Brewing Co, Bargara Brewing Co and Hemingway's Brewery.

State Development Minister Cameron Dick said the panel of brewers would inform the crafting of a strategy to support the industry's expansion.

That could include investigating additional entry points for craft beer into the market in Queensland.

Mr Dick said the independent craft beer sector had the potential to expand locally, interstate and overseas.

"Craft beer production in Queensland is estimated to be worth around $62 million per year and growing, and more than 13 per cent of Australia's 516 independent breweries can already be found in our state," he said.

There were more than 80 homegrown craft brewing operations in Queensland, but they only made up about 11 per cent of the state's beer industry, compared with higher levels in other states.

In the past year, 17 new craft breweries opened in Queensland.

Preliminary consultation with the industry had already identified some issues, including regulatory red tape, for example land use regulation, liquor licensing and sales reporting.

Skills and training, tourism potential and support programs, both non-financial and financial, for small business and innovation were also raised.

The working group was announced at a special event at Queensland Parliament on Wednesday night, where nine independent brewers showed off their wares and views on the industry's future.

"We also wanted to encourage members of Parliament to learn about the valuable role that independent breweries play in their local communities, to engage with and support the industry in their electorates, and sample a selection of our state's products," Mr Dick said.

The Independent Brewers Association and other stakeholders are working with the government to develop the strategy, which is being led by the State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Department.

The strategy will be finalised in late 2018.

It comes after the Queensland government revealed in February it was supporting Scottish brewer, BrewDog, establish a $30 million brewery in Brisbane.

But some, including economist and would-be LNP political candidate Nick Behrens, questioned the decision to offer incentives to an international business, which would compete with local craft brewers.

BrewDog Australia director Zarah Prior said the company wanted to work with Brisbane craft brewers to support the industry.


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now lets see if they can successfully lobby their federal counterparts to change the discriminative law that taxes kegs smaller than 48 litres more than 50 litre ones.

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now lets see if they can successfully lobby their federal counterparts to change the discriminative law that taxes kegs smaller than 48 litres more than 50 litre ones.
That's a federal tax - excise. But agree, rather ridiculous. Plenty of other ridiculous bits in our federal tax system.

In other news... craft breweries to get tax break (can't link article is paywalled in todays Daily Tellie).

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