Craft brewery trial extends to Newcastle

A NSW Government trial to allow craft brewers to trade like small bars has been extended to Newcastle.

The trial, which began in Sydney’s inner west in September, enables craft brewers to expand their business model and serve full-size drinks rather than only tastings.

Craft breweries in Newcastle can now apply for this new type of authorisation at no cost, with tailored conditions including a patron limit of 100 and a requirement to have food available.

This trial is said to benefit local craft breweries, increasing accessibility to these venues.

The NSW Government has recognised the growing demand for patrons to sample high-quality, locally-made drinks and speak directly with the brewers who produce them.

Minister for Racing Paul Toole said the trial, which would run until September next year, is also available to producers of spirits, liqueurs and cider.

“These small businesses are currently only allowed to offer tastings, unless they obtain a full ‘drink on premises’ authorisation that is not always well suited,” Toole said.

“The new tailored licensing option will cut red tape and help create new business opportunities.”

Like small bars, craft breweries are considered ‘low risk’ for alcohol-related harm. The new authorisation is said to – with clear conditions – give certainty for businesses as well as Liquor & Gaming NSW and police.

Brews Newshas spoken with local brewers and publicans. The sentiment is positive, with all local breweries and craft venues agreeing that the trial is great for the craft brewing industry. However, little information has been provided to local businesses and many owners are sceptical about the trial’s timeline and question why the announcement has come so close to Christmas.

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