The future of Queensland’s craft brewers is looking bright with the Palaszczuk Government launching Australia’s first craft brewing strategy to support the industry’s rapid expansion.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the Palaszczuk Government recognises the benefits local independent craft brewers offered to the state’s economy and local communities.
“Queensland manufacturers contribute significantly to the state’s growing economy, creating direct and indirect jobs, attracting private sector investment and facilitating innovation, and that includes manufacturers of craft beer and cider,” he said.
“Over the last five years, craft brewing has been the fastest growing segment of the beer market – a trend that is continuing.
“Earlier this year, the Queensland independent brewing industry asked for our support to achieve their fullest potential, and we have taken their feedback on board.
“We have worked with key stakeholders from across industry and government departments to understand the industry’s challenges and opportunities. We acknowledge this is just the start, but it’s a positive step forward to maximise the sector’s growth.”
Local independent craft brewer Ballistic Beer Co is optimistic about the future of Queensland’s independent craft brewing industry.
Ballistics’ founder and managing director David Kitchen said Queensland brewers are sweeping up national awards and gaining recognition for their beers.
“We attribute our success to quality product and creating a sense of community through our brewpub model,” he said.
“We believe there is huge potential for our independent craft breweries to create jobs and be positive players within our local areas and regions, creating vibrant, community hubs. The Government’s assistance can help us realise that potential.
“The strategy focuses on three key areas including investing in people and infrastructure, improving access to markets, and ensuring appropriate regulation and planning is in place to facilitate a supportive environment.
“With the release of the Queensland Craft Brewing Strategy, the Queensland Government has taken the first steps to supporting an industry that is generating jobs and growth within the state, opening up tourism opportunities and growing exports.
“The streamlining of licensing and planning processes will greatly assist the growth of the industry when implemented.
“Development of a tertiary brewing course will also ensure the Queensland craft beer industry can continue to provide award-winning beers as it grows.
“As a growth sector, we look forward to the implementation of the Strategy with a great deal of enthusiasm and support.”
Mr Dick said nine actions have been identified to position the industry to capitalise on opportunities available, including investigating the establishment of a ‘brewlab’ facility in Queensland, streamlining liquor licencing applications and promoting Queensland’s craft brewing capabilities and tourism opportunities.
“Craft beer production in Queensland is already estimated to be worth upwards of $62 million per year and growing, employing over 1700 people and our state’s market share of the sector in Australia has risen by around 2.8 per cent from 2016 to 2017.
“There are now around 90 independent craft brewers across the state, from Port Douglas in the north to Burleigh Heads in the south. This growth is being driven by shifts in consumer preferences, with innovative product lines contributing to increased demand for craft beer.
“This government is invested in our manufacturing sector, small businesses and innovation, with a range of programs available to support growth in all three of these areas.”
Independent Brewers Association (IBA) CEO Alexis Roitman said the Queensland Craft Beer Strategy is a timely recognition of the increasing contribution the industry makes to Queensland manufacturing and the promise it holds for strong future growth.
“With its focus on investing in the skills of the Queenslanders who brew your favourite beer, driving access to new markets for our unique products and clearing the path to growth through regulatory streamlining, the Strategy establishes a strong platform,” she said.
“The IBA congratulates the Queensland government on this initiative. We look forward to working together to realise the industry’s potential.”
Mr Dick said economic opportunities from craft brewing could extend into tourism and events such as Brewsvegas.
“The burgeoning craft beer industry has real potential to generate a similar tourist boom as the wine industry witnessed over 30 years ago,” he said.
“Beer tourism is attractive for visitors, providing an insight in to the character of the destination. Many of our local craft brewers are winning national and international awards for their produce and have already put Queensland on the map.
“We want to see Queensland’s craft brewing industry continue to shine and draw more visitors to our state.”
Find out more about the strategy and view it here: http://www.dsdmip.qld.gov.au/industry-development/queensland-craft-brewing-strategy.html
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Cameron Dick