20th December, 2013
The CBIA welcomes recommendations from NSW Liquor Act review.
The Craft Beer Industry Association, the national body representing Australia’s craft brewers, has today welcomed the recommendations from the independent review of the New South Wales Liquor Act 2007.
The review, conducted by Mr Michael Foggo, has recommended important changes to the Act that have the potential to greatly benefit the sixty craft brewers that are based in New South Wales and their hundreds of employees.
Presently New South Wales’ craft brewers are restricted under their producer/wholesaler licences to only being able to sell their product on their premises for tasting purposes. If they wish to operate a bar or restaurant they need to apply for a restaurant or small bar licence at further cost and effort. They are also unable to conduct tastings or sell product at producers’ markets.
Wine makers on the other hand are allowed to apply for an extension to their producer/wholesaler licence known as a “drink on premises authorisation.” This allows them to sell not only their own product but also any other form of liquor including beer and spirits. They are also allowed to sell their product at producers’ markets.
Mr Foggo’s review states that it “does not believe there is a valid reason to continue to discriminate against these producers” and “that there should be equity between all producers in the sale of liquor on licensed premises and at promotional events such as farmer’s markets.”
Mr Ben Rylands, a director of the New England Brewing Co based in the Northern Tablelands town of Uralla, has urged the Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Hospitality and Racing, Mr George Souris, to implement the recommendations.
“We are a small business trying to establish ourselves in a rural area. These changes have the potential to give certainty to our future and will allow us to employ more locals and draw more tourists to town,” he said.
The Chair of the Craft Beer Industry Association’s Government Liaison and Advocacy committee, Mr Jared Birbeck, welcomed the recommendations.
“We actively campaigned for these changes and we are heartened to see that Mr Foggo has listened to the industry’s concerns,” he said.
“This change would mean that an already vibrant industry would have further impetus to grow and continue creating jobs in New South Wales and strengthening its economy,” Mr Birbeck said.
“It would also cut down on unnecessary costs and red tape and would bring New South Wales in line with those conditions enjoyed by Victorian craft breweries.”
“We are also pleased with the recommendation that brewers be able to sell their products at producers’ markets as it is recognition that beer is an agricultural product and an important part of New South Wales’ broader agri-food economy,” he said.
“Craft beer has been embraced by the Australian drinking public because of its emphasis on flavour and quality and its commitment to encouraging responsible consumption. These proposed changes would enable brewers to help spread this message while encouraging growth in the tourism and hospitality sectors. We urge Mr Souris to implement the recommendations of the report,” Mr Birbeck said.
Notes to editors
About the Craft Beer Industry Association
The CBIA, founded in 2011, is a trade association representing Australia’s craft brewers. It is committed to protect, promote and grow the Australian craft beer industry. The CBIA defines an Australian craft brewer as a brewer that produces less than 40 million litres per annum.