Craft brewers in Sydney’s Inner West have formed an industry association that aims to turn the precinct into the craft beer capital of Australia.
The formation of the Inner West Brewery Association follows a forum of microbrewers I hosted in March to explore ways in which the Federal Government can assist the burgeoning industry, which is worth $400 million a year.
Among the concerns of the brewers is the fact that Commonwealth excise rates are higher for small kegs than larger kegs, which puts the brewers at a competitive disadvantage in relation to big brewers.
I am disappointed this anomaly was not addressed in the 2017 Budget but will continue to support the industry in its push for sensible reform as well as regulatory change at the state and local government levels.
Indeed, I intend to move a motion supporting the craft beer industry in the House of Representatives next Monday.
Craft brewing offers huge potential for jobs growth in the brewing and hospitality sectors in Sydney and around the nation.
There are also great opportunities for craft beer tourism – whereby operators set up walking tours for enthusiasts who visit several breweries to sample different types of beer.
Craft beer tours are already available in the Inner West as well as in Adelaide and Melbourne and other parts of the country. I look forward to working with the new association to seek to further exploit that potential.
If we get the policy settings right, craft brewing could deliver thousands of new jobs.
The Inner West Craft Brewery Association includes Wayward Brewing Company, Young Henry’s, Batch Brewing Company, Willie the Boatman and Grifter Brewing Company.
FRIDAY, 16 JUNE, 2017