Sydney's inner west relaxes liquor licence laws for craft breweries

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Craft brewers in Sydney’s inner west will be allowed to trade like bars in a trial that could be expanded across the State, NSW Minister for Racing Paul Toole said today.

“Microbreweries are currently only allowed to offer tastings, unless they obtain a special ‘drink on premises’ authorisation, as well as council approval. This trial will cut red tape and allow beer lovers to enjoy more of their favourite drop,” Toole said.

It will be trialled for 12 months in the Inner West Council area, which has the highest density of microbreweries in the country. A new type of liquor authorisation with streamlined approval will be trialled, with conditions including a patron limit of 100 and a requirement to make food available.

“The rising popularity of boutique and craft beers, ciders, spirits and liqueurs is creating new demand for enjoying drinks produced on the premises,” Toole said.

“A lot of people like the concept of being able to sample high-quality locally made drinks and speak directly with the passionate experts who produce them.”

The trial will also apply to producers of spirits, liqueurs and cider.

“Microbreweries don’t neatly fit into traditional liquor licence categories, so there’s a need to develop a new model suited to them,” Toole said.

“If successful, we could see red tape cut for microbreweries across NSW, helping create new small business opportunities and entertainment options.”

Like small bars, microbreweries are considered low-risk businesses for alcohol-related harm. Having a specific new authorisation type with clear conditions will help create certainty for businesses as well as Liquor & Gaming NSW and police.

From next week, the community, industry and other stakeholders can comment on the trial as part of consultation on proposals to update liquor regulations.

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