Brewers in Tasmania have joined the Independent Brewers Association as a regional chapter of the organisation as it looks to expand the sub-group model across Australia.
Formerly represented by the Tasmanian Independent Brewers Association which was wound down 18 months ago, the brewers, some of who were existing IBA members, have now joined up as essentially a sub-branch of the IBA.
The TIBA initially had 19 members when it was formed in late 2015, including the Hobart Brewing Company, Double Head Brewing and Shambles Brewery. Members grew to 21 before it was wound down in 2018.
The decision was made at a meeting in July 2019 at which the brewers voted unanimously to join the IBA as a subchapter.
Tasmanian IBA representative Jon Burridge said that the TIBA had suffered some neglect over the years which had led to its winding down, and it seemed in the interests of all the brewers present to join the national body.
“After seeing other states benefiting from IBA state chapters we decided to get together and see how we can regather the brewers to form some sort of association,” he said.
“It was at this point the benefit of being an IBA sub chapter clearly outweighed the option of raising the previous association from the ashes.
Burridge said that Tasmania has a diverse brewing industry, but being on an island with a cool climate and small population meant that Tasmanian brewers had their fair share of challenges. Being part of the IBA means they can be supported at a national level when it comes to regional issues.
“The benefits of being an IBA member alone are well and truly worth it, this just enables Tasmanian brewers to be closer to the association and also have a collective voice for any local and state based activities whilst having the backing of the national association,” he said.
Jamie Cook, chair of the IBA, said that it welcomed the decision by Tasmanian brewers to create a sub-group.
“We have always intended to move to the state chapter approach in all states over time, but to date haven’t had the membership base to pull it off,” he said.
“This will happen as we continue to build a stronger national body which can achieve the overarching national objectives as well as support the state chapters.
“Tasmania can play a key role in the IBA moving to the State Chapter model, which will provide the Independent brewers with a local focus whilst being able to tap into the resources and support of a growing national association.”