Beer trail receives Vic small-scale funding

A local business directory has received $43,000 from the Victorian Government’s Small Scale and Craft Program to support its Bayside Beer Belt, an ale trail consisting of 10 craft breweries and distilleries.

Kingston Collective received the funding to support the creation of its Bayside Beer Belt tours, which consist of breweries Stomping Ground, 2 Brothers Brewery, Boatrocker Brewery & Distillery, Bojak Brewing, Braeside Brewing, Dainton Beer, Wolf of the Willows, Saint Felix Distillery in Mordialloc and That Spirited Lot in Seaford.

Stream three of the Small Scale and Craft Program offered grants between $25,000 and $100,000 to eligible small producers to create visitor experiences and put their regions on the map.

So far the Program as a whole has awarded $6.6 million to 300 Victorian businesses.

The Kingston Collective grant was the first announced of the latest $750,000 round in which grants have been awarded to 10, as-yet-unannounced, Victorian producers.

Kingston Collective co-founder Natalie Wilson told Brews News that the Bayside Beer Belt had originally launched in 2021, but had only managed two tours before COVID hit, so the grant will reinvigorate those plans.

“As with many start up businesses, you have great ideas and vision however you often need capital to get things started or fast track the process.

“We saw the Small Scale & Craft Program grant as a great opportunity to put the Bayside Beer Belt on the map so to speak and really get the word out there about this amazing region and everything it has to offer.

“The grant will go towards building the brand and promoting it to not only locals in the area, but to those visiting Melbourne and looking for an immersive, educational and fun day experience.”

Applying for the grant was relatively straightforward, she said.

“For us, it was easy to talk about the benefits and impact the grant would have as we have so many stakeholders involved that will directly benefit from it as well as the flow-on effect on our local economy and local tourism.

For others looking to apply for grants, Wilson provided some advice.

“Like anything in life, you need to be in it to win it. One piece of advice I would give is to go through the actual application process online whilst gathering all of your information and documents to know exactly what you need to include, any character limits and the best way to get your information across. This will make applying for the grant a lot easier and will save you time.

“We feel very fortunate that we were one of only 10 craft producers to receive this grant funding as there would have been hundreds who applied, so we are extremely grateful and will ensure we use the grant funding in the most impactful way.”

Several breweries have received funding from the program which have not yet been released, but since its launch, breweries including 3 Ravens and Kaiju Beer have received funding from the Small Scale and Craft Program.

Check out the States of Brewing report to see how well each state has funded the growth and innovation of its breweries.

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