Growing Queensland’s craft brewing and distillery scene

Since new laws were passed in March, a strong contingent of artisan distillers and craft brewers from all corners of Queensland have taken the opportunity to apply for the new artisan producer liquor licence.

The Artisan Liquor Bill, passed by Parliament on 9 March, commenced Tuesday 4th May 2021, officially recognising the state’s artisan liquor producers in the Liquor Act 1992.

Since the Bill was passed, the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation has received 47 applications.

This new licence will allow licensees to not only sell their own product as takeaway and online, they can also support other local artisan producers by selling their products on premises.

Of the 47 applications for the new licence, 34 are current licensees hoping to transition to the artisan producer licence so they have more flexibility to grow their business while 13 of the applications are from brand new producers applying to join this bourgeoning sector of liquor industry – both craft brewers and distillers.

This is a wonderful opportunity for the smaller players of the liquor industry to grow their businesses/

It is a win for Queenslanders who enjoy a craft beer, boutique spirts or wine and who like to ‘drink local’.

Aside from the advantage of being able to sell products of other Queensland artisan producers and Queensland wine for on-premises consumption, there are several other benefits to the artisan producer licence for small-sale producers.

Benefits of the new artisan producer licence include:

  • No limit to how much of their own product can be sold on their premises, providing production limits are met.
  • An option to showcase and sell samples of their wares at promotional events such as farmer’s markets, food festivals and agricultural shows.
  • The ability to sell their product as takeaway, including online.

There were a large number of regional applicants – including Toowoomba, Hervey Bay, the Central Highlands, Whitsundays and Tablelands.

Transitioning licensees will also have the advantage of an accelerated application process at no cost if their business model isn’t materially changing and their submission is made before 30 June 2021.

Now that the new laws have commenced, the Queensland Government will establish a Queensland Artisan Liquor Advisory Group – providing stakeholders a platform to share feedback on the regulatory framework and future direction of the industry.

More information on the artisan producer licence, including FAQs and how to apply can be found on the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation’s website.

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