Craft brewer amendments

The Queensland Government says it is “supporting new jobs and the Queensland craft brewing and artisan distilling industry with the introduction of the Liquor (Artisan Liquor) Amendment Bill”.

Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing Glenn Butcher said the bill will reduce the regulatory burden on craft brewers and artisan distillers, supporting growth in the emerging industry and the jobs that go with it.

“The licence will streamline the liquor licensing application processes to more directly provide the authorisations desired by craft brewers,” Mr Butcher said.

“The bills delivers on a commitment under the Queensland Craft Brewing Strategy to establish a new licence that better suits industry and reduces regulatory burden by directly providing authorisations desired by craft brewers.”

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said the licence will also promote Queensland-made artisan products, increase market access and contribute to the growth of these industries.

“Queensland is home to more than 100 craft brewers and distillers and we want to make it easier for them to start, grow and create more jobs,” Ms Fentiman said.

“We know that the industry has been struggling during COVID-19 and we want to support them to get back up on their feet and get back to business.

“Under the new licence, artisan producers will be able to operate taprooms and tasting rooms without a second licence as well as increase the ability to sell takeaway liquor.

“This will boost sales and back more local jobs which is key to our State’s economic recovery.”

Mr Butcher said the licence will also focus on emerging and small-scale independently owned craft beer producers and artisan distillers.

“The licence is tailored to smaller artisan producers by focussing on emerging and small-scale independently owned craft beer producers and artisan distillers,” he said.

“Existing licence authorisations are not well suited to the business needs of the artisan liquor industry so, by introducing this new licence, we are strengthening this industry into the future and providing small Queensland operators with more opportunities to grow and expand their businesses.

“We want to grow the craft beer industry, which prior to COVID-19, employed more than 1,700 people and contributed an estimated $62 million each year to the Queensland economy.

“By 2024, it is anticipated that the industry’s contribution to the State’s economy will be well over $100 million.

“Importantly, almost 25 per cent of Queensland’s craft breweries are established in regional towns.

“Artisan distilling is also growing with 34 independent artisan distilleries across Queensland.

“Artisan distillers have the potential to create more jobs from manufacturing roles through to front of house, and 38 per cent of Queensland’s distilleries are in the regions.”


Key points…

The new ‘commercial other – artisan producer’ licence will:

• authorise the on-site sale of craft beer, spirits and wine produced under the Queensland artisan liquor licence or under the Wine Industry Act 1994

• be based on the principal activity of the business, either brewing or distilling, defined as 70 per cent of sales on an annual basis

• authorise the sale of artisan liquor produced on the premises for takeaway

• allow the licensee to apply for an enduring approval to sell samples of their product at promotional events such as a farmers’ markets

• extend the commercial public event permit authorisation to craft brewers and artisanal liquor producers to sell or supply liquor at a public event; and

• permit online sales for the licensee’s own product which is particularly beneficial for artisanal liquor producers who are currently unable to sell their products online in Queensland.

• The new licence will also remove the requirement upon distillers that restricts retail sales to 2.5 per cent of production.