The NSW Government has heralded a range of measures it says have helped its state brewers.
The announcement, which declares that NSW brewers have tapped into COVID-19 crisis funding and fee waivers, comes following the government support deal last year made by the Independent Brewers Association in which the industry body received $200,000 in funding.
At the time, the majority of the funding went to support membership fees of the IBA, whilst most of the remainder was directed towards BrewCon 2020, which the IBA was forced to cancel during COVID-19 lockdowns, replacing it with virtual events.
Since the deal was struck, NSW economic development agencies have worked in collaboration with the IBA to come up with an Action Plan, which covers the promotion of NSW breweries in the tourism industry, licensing amendments, an investigation into the sourcing of NSW barley and advocating for excise duty reductions, which was achieved earlier this year via a rebate.
State governments have been eager to prove their support to the brewing sector, with Queensland launching its Craft Beer Strategy, and Western Australia and Victoria providing hundreds of thousands in grant funding to breweries such as Rocky Ridge and Kaiju.
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The $600 million NSW independent brewing industry is set to thrive in the post-pandemic economy with brewers from Tumut to Tweed Heads tapping into support as part of the NSW Government’s plans.
COVID-19 crisis funding, fee waivers and the promotion of Food, Wine and Ale Trails are all part of the state’s efforts to grow the industry, with crucial support already delivered just 12 months after the formation of the NSW Independent Brewers Working Group.
Investment NSW CEO Amy Brown said the independent brewing industry supported about 10,200 jobs in 2019-20, with almost 200 breweries, brew pubs and contract brewers operating across NSW.
“Brewers, particularly those in regional NSW, rely heavily on tourism and tap-room trade and were hit hard by the pandemic. The Independent Brewers Working Group was set up to identify and deliver what the industry needs to flourish and to help it cope with these sorts of shocks,” Ms Brown said.
“We’ve been working in lock-step with the Independent Brewers Association to support its members through the pandemic including $135,000 to cover IBA membership for around 100 NSW brewers and $10,000 towards the NSW Independent Brewer of the Year Award for business development activities.”
In its first year, the group has connected brewers with Destination NSW and other organisations to showcase 29 breweries along Food, Wine & Ale Trails such as Port To Port (Newcastle, Port Stephens & Port Macquarie), and Valley & Vines (Wagga Wagga, Tumut, Batlow, Tumbarumba, Junee and Coolamon).
Annual liquor licence fees waivers and trading hours risk loading savings delivered across the year are expected to deliver up to $17 million in assistance to industry.
The Working Group will continue to be supported through Investment NSW, which has been established to support NSW-based businesses to scale up and ‘go global’ for maximum jobs growth as part of centralised efforts to drive local and international investment and create jobs for NSW.
To find out more or read the Independent Brewers Working Group Annual Report, visit https://www.business.nsw.gov.au/industry-sectors/industry-opportunities/agribusiness-and-food/food-and-beverage-manufacturing/independent-brewers-action-plan