Beer companies will soon be allowed to sell up to 5,000 hectolitres (Hl) of their beer a year, a change that is expected to help boost the sector’s bottom line.
While the change will allow craft brewers to sell a maximum of 150 hectolitre-per-year beer, it will not apply to small breweries that are not yet licensed.
A change to the way the country sells beer is expected in March 2020.
“The government has taken a new approach to the alcohol market, by allowing for the sale of beer to the public, the retail market and the beer bars,” Industry Minister Peter Dunne said in a statement.
“With these measures, the government is ensuring the alcohol industry can thrive in a competitive market, whilst also providing a fairer playing field for small brewers.”
Beer is already sold in pubs and restaurants and is available in grocery stores.
Beer sales are currently restricted to the home, while the government has set a limit of 500 hectoliters per year for breweries that want to expand.
The government plans to introduce a raft of measures in the coming months to help craft breweries, including introducing a number of new restrictions on the use of equipment and facilities.
Small brewers will have the option to sell their beer for up to a maximum 5,002 litres (Hlp) per year, while craft breweries will only be allowed up to 2,000 litres per year.
The government also plans to allow craft breweries to grow by up to 20 per cent per annum, with the ability to grow even further if the sector is “performing strongly”.
A spokesperson for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science said the government had taken a number to “provide certainty” to the beer industry.
“This will enable brewers to grow their business, while providing the consumer with more choice and access to great beer,” the spokesperson said.
However, the industry group Brewers Association Australia (BAAI) slammed the changes as “too little too late”.
“These reforms are an absolute disaster for the small beer industry and the small brewer in particular,” the BAAI said in its submission to the government.
The Government needs to get on with the job of creating the next generation of small and craft brewers.””
We have been telling them for years that they can’t do it.
The Government needs to get on with the job of creating the next generation of small and craft brewers.”