The merger is set to extend the reach of the IBA into trade and consumer markets and supporting the growth of GBW as it enters its ninth year.
The Independent Brewers Association said the merger will give it a presence in the two largest Australian markets, adding to its Sydney office with a Melbourne counterpart.
IBA chair Ben Kooyman told Brews News that the merger is something the two organisations have been working on for a while.
“It’s something the IBA board has thrashed-out for a couple of years now, about how we better link with consumers directly on behalf of our members.
“We’ve talked about beer festivals and beer weeks and virtual beer weeks and now is the right time to link up with the preeminent and probably the most successful beer week nationally.”
Kooyman said that the merger will add value to both organisations and take them to the next level.
“It’s hugely exciting for the sector.”
Kooyman said that the merger is a potential precursor to expanding the Good Beer Week festival further afield.
The IBA said the merger comes after the launch of its Independence Seal in May this year and its resolve to expand its strategic focus into trade and consumer markets.
The organisation said that the team expansion will be key to developing other major industry events, including BrewCon, the IBA’s annual Conference and Trade Expo and the Indies.
Good Beer Week Chair Kate Paterson will take on a wider industry relations role at the IBA, working closely with IBA members and Association members to develop the industry as it undergoes a period of profound growth.
Good Beer Week General Manager Siobhan Kerin brings her experience and a “deep understanding” of venue management from her time at Beer DeLuxe.
Kooyman emphasised that both organisations are not-for-profit and so while there is no huge commercial intent there, the merger will add value for the sector.
“We want to do a better job of taking the beer conversation to consumers,” Kooyman said.
Even so, the move mirrors the situation in the US market where the Brewers Association runs the Great American Beer Festival, which is a significant revenue source for the association, broadening its advocacy reach and resources.
The Independent Brewers Association, formerly the Australian Craft Beer Industry Association, was founded in 2011 and is the body representing the interests of Australia’s small independent brewing sector. It runs the annual Craft Brewers Conference, Brewcon, and the Independent Brewing Awards, the Indies.
Good Beer Week is an independent, not-for-profit association. Founded in 2011, the program has grown almost 500 per cent over its eight years. Good Beer Week is recognised globally as one of the leading beer weeks and has set the stage of other beer events both in Australia and overseas.
The IBA said that it will be collaborating on plans for BrewCon and the Indies and that further announcements about these events will be made in due course but that it will be business as usual for Good Beer Week over the coming year.