As the Australian craft industry prepares to celebrate independent beer in Melbourne next week, Green Beacon is already facing the consequences of its decision to sell the business to Asahi.
The Brisbane-based brewery had entered the Independent Brewers Association’s Indies awards, to be judged this weekend, and sent the beers for judging. However the beers will be returned to the brewery unjudged.
Green Beacon is a former winner of the Champion Medium Brewery at the then Craft Beer Awards and is the reigning AIBA Champion Medium Brewery, Ironically, when Green Beacon won at the 2016 Craft Beer Awards, since renamed The Indies, the Champion Large Brewery was Pirate Life, which has since sold to CUB.
IBA Chair Jamie Cook told Brews News that the decision was not made to punish the brewery but to ensure the integrity of the associations aims.
“The Independent Brewers Association is a membership organisation and its criteria for membership sets out that brewers who are owned by a brewer who themselves cannot meet the membership criteria are ineligible to be a member,” he said.
“The large brewers in Australia who are not eligible to be members of the IBA have access to vast resources in terms of technical knowledge, procurement, advocacy, marketing and distribution.
“Individually the Independent brewers in Australia do not have access to that level of resource and therefore have committed to a membership organisation that develops a strong collective voice, and collaboratively develops and provides resources which its members could never access on their own.
“We need to maintain the integrity of Independent beer on behalf of the hundreds of brewers who remain truly independent, and be focused on supporting the small independent brewers who will benefit from that.
“The Board of the IBA will continue to take action as per the terms of its constitution, the Indies entry rules and the Independent Seal IP Licence agreement to ensure that integrity is maintained,” Cook said.
Green Beacon co-founder Adrian Slaughter said the brewery accepted the decision.
“When we entered there was no guarantee that the any of this [the sale] was going to go ahead and so for us it was business as usual,” he said.
“We understand the principles of the movement and accept that, and we wish them well and hope they have a cracking night.
“There’s certainly no hard feelings from us.”
Slaughter said the brewery still has a contingent of six staff attending the Independent Brewers Association’s BrewCon conference in Melbourne next week.
Green Beacon’s sale will not affect its participation in this year’s Brisbane Beer InCider Festival, which also maintains a strong independence policy. Event director, Marty Keetels said Green Beacon’s position was secured with the festival well before the sale.
“We’re welcoming Green Beacon to Beer InCider and to continue their involvement with our event in 2019 given their position was secured and our tickets went on sale well prior to the acquisition being announced,” Marty told Brews News.
“Green Beacon has been a big part of every Beer InCider since inception. We have too much respect for Green Beacon and for them as individuals to change the arrangements already in place.
“Personally, I am very excited for them and congratulate them on their achievement.”
The Beeries Awards, part of the Beer InCider’s Brisbane program, will feature a conversation with Adrian Slaughter, co-Founder of Green Beacon Brewing, during the awards on September 19. The conversation will focus on Green Beacon’s story to date, from opening its Teneriffe brewpub in 2013 to its recent sale to Asahi.