Real Craft Brewers excise White Paper wrap-up

Earlier this week the Australian Real Craft Brewers Association (ARCBA) launched a white paper about excise and the real craft beer industry and calling for all political parties to support the need for excise relief and Government funding in next week’s Federal Budget.

Since then, we have also received a media release from Senator Christine Milne’s office supporting the move, and a statement from the Craft Beer Industry Association about the White Paper. These are all published below, together with links to the ARCBA White Paper and supporting documents.

The document is very extensive and makes for an interesting read, for those whose interest in the brewing industry extends beyond what’s the latest, hottest, hop bomb to hit the shelves.

Of course, excise and tax are incredibly complex areas – far beyond the ken of a poor beer hack – but as we flagged last week, even in the wine industry, support for excise isn’t spoken in one voice. There are even those who suggest that a removal of the wine and cider WET concessions may be the fairest approach and the one the benefits a sustainable craft brewing industry the best. As with all things, let’s see where the conversation leads.

Anyway, it’s a big, complex, hairy issue and the white paper represents a huge effort by people who would otherwise be brewing beer and running their business. Congratulations to them for putting it together.

For beer/tax wonks, there’s a good history to the issue here as well.

Australian Real Craft Brewers Association White Paper

Media Statement

The Australian Real Craft Brewers Association (ARCBA) is publicly releasing a White Paper on the real craft beer industry and is seeking all political parties to support the need for excise relief and Government funding in next week’s Federal Budget.

  1. ARCBA, a not for profit association, seeks to grow the real craft beer market to offer real choice for consumers, build high quality small independent brewers and strong, sustainable brewing businesses in Australia. To ensure the viability and growth of the Australian small real craft beer industry, we are seeking excise relief and government funding.
  2. Support increasing excise tax rebate for small and independent breweries to $300,000 immediately with further increases over time to bring Australia in line with the average for OCED 33 countries.
    a. Increasing excise relief supports the creation of jobs, builds local industries and regional employment and grows export and tourism opportunities for real craft brewers.
    b. Based on value-add metrics, every $1 million in excise relief provided by the Government to the industry will return $5 million in GST, employment and other taxes and will contribute $27.7 million total economic revenues to local and regional communities. No net cost to the public purse.
    c. Based on overseas data, every new job in breweries creates 15-16 new jobs in beer related industries, supply, hospitality, retail and tourism. We estimate growth in the real craft beer industry can generate up to 800 new beer related jobs per $1 million in excise relief.
  3. Allocate a portion of excise tax revenues to provide financial support for Real Craft Brewers to develop a national brand, marketing strategy and support for developing export opportunities and building the real craft beer tourism industry.
  4. Provide annual funding to improve quality control, education, training and testing to raise quality to world standards, ensure consistency in domestic market and to get Australia’s local, small and independent brewers export ready.
  5. Provide access to investment grants offering matched funding for small real craft brewers for improving energy efficiency and growing real craft beer tourism.
  6. ARCBA seeks Government support to help develop the real craft brewing industry, increase the value-add to our existing malt export industry and to build the real craft beer into a multibillion dollar export industry.

“This White Paper is the first comprehensive look at the real craft beer industry in Australia and the need for change. It is time to get behind Australian small independent brewers, bringing Australian real craft beer in line with the rest of the world, providing access to investment funding to grow the real craft beer industry and letting Australians enjoy and appreciate real craft beers,” said David Hollyoak, ARCBA Chairman.

Download the White Paper

Supporting documents


Craft Beer Industry Association comment on White Paper

The Craft Beer Industry Association would like to congratulate ARCBA on the release of their recent White Paper. The time and effort that has obviously gone into the production of such a comprehensive document shows the unmistakable passion those involved have for the Australian craft beer industry.

While we have not yet had a chance to study the White Paper in detail, a reading of the executive summary shows a number of areas where the goals expressed mirror those that our organisation is also working towards. While we may have differing views about the definition of a craft brewer we feel that there are many more areas where our interests are aligned, most importantly ensuring the future of this industry that we all love. We would like to extend an invitation to the ARCBA board to sit down with us to discuss how we can work more closely together on achieving our common goals.

Media Release, Senator Christine Milne

Australian Greens Leader

Greens welcome microbrewers’ report

The Australian Greens welcome the release of the Australian Real Craft Brewers review of taxes on small independent breweries across the OECD.

The report makes a compelling case for significantly increasing excise rebate relief, and providing proper government support to the real craft brewery industry.

“I have long supported the Australian Real Craft Brewers (ARCBA) call to reform the excise treatment of beer from microbreweries,” Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said today.

“Last year I was thrilled to help ARCBA secure an increase in the tax excise rebate for small craft breweries, along with a new definition that confirms they must be 100% independent and domestically owned.

“Small craft breweries are fantastic sustainable job creators, particularly in rural and regional Australia, supporting local producers and helping local tourism.

“The report shows that in Europe a supportive tax regime has helped boost local jobs in small breweries, as well as create new jobs across the supply, hospitality and retail sectors.

“As people increasingly look for quality over quantity, supporting the craft brewery market in Australia helps them support local beer.

“I also strongly support ARCBA’s call for funding to assist with the development of an authentic national brand for independent real craft brewers.

“However, the report shows that this change didn’t go far enough. We need to significantly raise the excise rebate – it will return increased revenue for the Gillard Government through increased sales and employment tax, as well as creating jobs.

“It’s a big win-win and the rest of the OECD has strongly embraced this. We should follow suit.”

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