Small Australian brewers claim their Independence Day

And celebrate their contribution to the national economy and culture

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On the fourth of July, Australia’s small, independent brewers and their loyal customers celebrate Australian Independent Brewers Day by raising a glass to celebrate the significant contribution that the industry makes to our nation’s culture and economy.

The occasion is highlighted by the release of a landmark national economic report that confirms the independent brewing industry is one of the great success stories in Australia’s otherwise declining manufacturing sector. (You can download the report here.)

The report, commissioned by the Independent Brewers Association, shows that there are now more breweries operating than at any other time in Australia’s history, generating $740 million in economic output. 65% of the businesses are located outside of the capital cities, which means jobs and investment for regional and rural areas.

“Small independent breweries are a great local employer and are quickly becoming an important part of many local communities as consumers become increasingly interested in the businesses that create the beer that they drink,” said IBA Chair, Ben Kooyman.

“In fact, independent beer is bucking the trend of declining beer consumption by changing the pattern of beer drinking from being focused on a quantity of mass produced beer to the quality being provided by locally produced independent beer”

Gold Coast brewery owner Peta Fielding was excited about the results. “We spend so much time working to build our own businesses that it is nice to take a moment to celebrate our collective success,” Mrs Fielding said.

Mrs Fielding is the co-owner of Burleigh Brewing Co in Burleigh Heads, which has been running since 2007 and employs 40 people.

“The industry’s success has not come easily, given the burdensome excise regime imposed on small brewers. Imagine what could be possible if, similar to wineries, small brewers enjoyed excise relief designed to support the development of the industry as a whole?” asked Mrs Fielding.

“Craft brewers pay approximately 25% of their total revenue as excise – a tax that is imposed as soon as the beer leaves the brewery, whether the brewer has been paid for it at that point or not.”

"Excise relief would enable small brewers to invest in building their capacity and capability and generate more employment opportunities,’ Mrs Fielding said.

Australian Independent Brewers Day also marks the launch of a campaign led by the Independent Brewers Association to ask the Federal Government for a fairer tax system.

“We applaud the foresight of those politicians who have recently been speaking out in support of independent breweries,” said Mr Kooyman.  “What we need now is action by the Government to give this growing manufacturing industry a fair go.”

 Key facts about the independent brewing industry:

  • It had 380 participants as at 30 June 2016. It is now more than 420.
  • 65% of those businesses are based outside of the capital cities.
  • The industry produced 59 million litres of beer in 15/16 generating $280 million in revenue.
  • It employs more than 2400 full time equivalent workers. That is 73% of all employment in the brewing industry in Australia. And those workers are paid approximately $90 million in wages.
  • It supports a further 17,210 FTE positions in the wider economy.
  • It generated $740 million in economic output in 15/16.

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July 04th, 2017
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