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Craft distillers get laws they need to access retail markets


Distillers will now have the chance to crack more markets after reforms were passed this week granting them the new retail rights.

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In its explanation of the reform the State Government said that before the pandemic disrupted the industry, Queensland craft brewers and artisan distillers contributed significantly to the Queensland economy and employed more than 1800 people.

Sales dropped almost 70 per cent during the pandemic.

But the reforms would allow for on-site sales, the sale of samples, takeaway products and the supply of promotional and public events.

Restrictions have been placed on opening hours to prevent sites from becoming bars or night clubs. License fees were also waived.

The Government anticipates that by 2024 the craft beer industry would contribute over $100 million to the Queensland economy.

Attorney General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman announced small-scale liquor producers would be able to apply for a new artisan producer licence.

“This is all about backing small business, creating jobs, and helping Queensland kickstart its economy after COVID,” said Fentiman.

Queensland president of the Australian Distillers Association and owner of the Gold Coast’s Grandad Jack’s Distillery David Ridden said there were people operating small distilleries in small regional towns.

“They do not have access or are not big enough to access those major retailers who control most of the sales throughout Queensland,” he said.

“This Bill will allow small, mainly family-owned businesses to be able to sell their products in a responsible way.”

Approximately 34 independent artisan distilleries operate in Queensland and the industry claims they were likely to create more than 100 new jobs over the next two years from manufacturing through to customer service.


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