18 months after launching, the first tangible outcomes of Queensland’s Craft Beer Strategy are on the verge of launching, including TAFE brewing training.
While no formal announcement has been made in relation to the TAFE Queensland course, the TAFE website is live and expressions of interest are sought from students for the Certificate III in Food Processing (Brewing) course commencing on 13th July.
The Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing, Glenn Butcher, who oversees the craft beer strategy, told Brews News that 380 expressions of interest have been received from prospective students.
The course will be taught by brewing industry veterans John Meehan and Steve ‘Hendo’ Henderson. Meehan has had an extensive career across CUB and Lion, where he has most recently held the positions of brewing process improvement engineer, and prior to that senior technical brewer at Lion’s XXXX Brewery.
Henderson also runs a brewing consultancy service, Rockstar Brewer, and previously owned the nomad brewery, BrewCult.
The 20-week, Certificate III in Food Processing (Brewing) course involves one day of theory and two days of practical training at Queensland BrewLab, another initiative announced in the strategy.
The Queensland Government said it has committed $1.1 million over five years to deliver the BrewLab, established at the Health and Food Sciences Precinct in Coopers Plains.
The Minister said that the BrewLab will include a sensory lab and quality assurance services, where brewers can have their beers tasted by experts and tested for acidity/alcohol volume.
The BrewLab equipment has been installed and commissioned and an official opening of the facility is imminent. The Minster’s office said around 110 people have registered their interest to use the facility.
The TAFE course and the BrewLab are the first initiatives to be delivered, 18 months after the launch of the Queensland Craft Brewing Strategy.
While the Minister advised that promised amendments to the liquor act are ‘bubbling away’, Brews News understands that these are unlikely to be introduced into the state’s parliament prior to the state election in October.
The state’s current licensing laws, as they apply to craft brewers, have been under review for almost a decade, initially as part of the Liquor and Fair Trading Legislation (Red Tape Reduction) Amendment Bill 2014.
In 2016 craft beer permits were created under the Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Bill 2015, although Brews News understands that these were so impractical no brewers have yet used them.
Brewer frustrations at the impracticality of the state’s laws were highlighted recently when the Queensland Premier announced a new Amazon fulfilment centre in Brisbane and urged the state’s manufacturers to work with the retailer.
“E-commerce companies like Amazon have a key role to play in supporting that growing economy and helping facilitate Queensland businesses deliver their products to the door,” the Minister said in her media statement.
Amazon announced it was entering the online delivery market. However, the state’s licensing laws require brewers listing with the online retailer to send their products to Amazon in Sydney or Melbourne for delivery back to Brisbane.
Despite the prohibition in the state’s liquor act preventing the breweries from delivering their beers ordered through Amazon, the Minister told Brews News there are “no licensing issues with on-line sales”.
“It is not the government’s role to comment on how Amazon handles its logistics,” the statement said.