The IBA has announced that it has received nearly $200,000 in funding from the NSW Government, marking an unprecedented move by a state government to support the sector.
In a message to members, the IBA said that following on from the NSW Independent Brewers Action Plan launched last year, it has worked with the NSW Government on strategies to help the development of brewing in the state.
It said that NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro had agreed to contribute cash to cover the cost of IBA membership for all independent brewers in the state for one year. Non-members will be able to join for free for a year and current members will see their membership automatically extended for 12 months.
The deal also includes BrewCon in November, this year being held on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, but with significant support from the NSW Government . For non-NSW members, the BrewCon contributions will be used to ensure the annual conference is affordable for all members.
Overall the funding will total nearly $200,000 for the IBA, with $135,000 contributing to the cost of memberships for the 120 independent breweries in NSW and $60,000 going towards BrewCon.
The organisation will be asking all the other state governments to match the funding from the NSW Government.
“We cannot thank Deputy Premier John Barilaro enough for his unwavering support of the indie beer industry and his commitment to delivering policy and regulatory changes that are cutting red-tape and delivering long-term benefits for every NSW brewery and its employees,” the message from IBA chair Peter Philip said.
“He has also reached out to the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to lend his support to modifying the excise refund scheme for indie brewers and to develop a national strategy. So here’s to some good news for a change! If like me, you are in the process of reopening your taproom then that’s an extra reason for celebration as we start on the road to recovery.”
NSW Government support
In March 2019 the Berejiklian government indicated that it would provide greater support to the state’s brewers in the event it was re-elected, which has now come to fruition.
It comes at a pivotal time for the IBA which has faced its own challenges during the COVID-19 lockdown which has left no part of the industry untouched, following the postponement of BrewCon and the Indies which will now be held in November on the Sunshine Coast.
The announcement follows the Indie Brewers Action Plan which was launched last year by the state government, as it seeks to provide greater support to the burgeoning brewing industry.
The plan was similar to the Queensland Craft Beer Strategy, in that it looked at a number of key areas such as skills shortages and beer tourism.
It said it would produce a research paper with the NSW Treasury analysing the economic impact of the sector, although there has been no updates as of yet on when this might be published.
Other measures included connecting breweries to tourism, research and training institutions, and facilitating access to a number of grants and funds.
The Queensland Craft Beer Strategy was published in 2018, although unlike the NSW government the Queensland government has not yet indicated if it would be contributing to the growth of the brewing industry in a financial sense.
It received mixed reviews a year after it was launched but overall was met with positivity from the industry, with some perceiving these announcements by state governments as recognising the growing importance of breweries to state-wide economies.