Granddad Jack's Craft DistilleryBusiness

Queensland craft distillers welcome new liquor laws

Small-scale Queensland craft distillers and brewers will be able to apply for a new artisan producer licence under new legislation.

Before the pandemic disrupted the industry, Queensland craft brewers and artisan distillers contributed significantly to the economy and employed nearly 2000 people.

“This opportunity empowers a promising sector of Queensland’s liquor industry, allowing for new business opportunities and increased revenue, while they continue their COVID-19 recovery,” said Attorney-General the Hon Shannon Fentiman.

Benefits of the new artisan producer licence include:

  • no limit to how much of their own product can be sold on their premises;
  • 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; and
  • an authorisation to apply for a permit to sell their products at a public event, such as a music festival.

“They will also be able to sell, for consumption at their venue, Queensland wine and the products of other Queensland artisan producers – which is a fantastic way for them to back their fellow artisan producers,” Minister Fentiman added.

The Australian Distillers Association (ADA) welcomes the passing of the Liquor (Artisan Liquor) Amendment Bill 2020, which it says will help local artisan liquor businesses grow.

Approximately 34 independent artisan distilleries operate in Queensland and are anticipated to create more than 106 new jobs over the next two years from manufacturing through to customer service. 

“Today is a win for our industry and for Queensland. We will see growth across Queensland’s craft liquor industry, agriculture, tourism and hospitality sectors” said Paul McLeay of the ADA.

David Ridden – President of the Queensland ADA Branch and Owner and Director of Grandad Jack’s Craft Distillery (pictured main) said: “Members across the country are in small regional towns. They do not have access or are not big enough to access those major retailers who control most of [the] sales throughout Queensland. This bill will allow small, mainly family-owned businesses to be able to sell their products in a responsible way.”

The ADA said it believes the new changes are consistent with the responsible service of alcohol and supports movements aligned with ‘premiumisation’ moderation consumption trends.

Applications for the new licence are now open for any small business operator who currently produces or intends to produce their own craft beer or artisan spirits.

The commercial other – artisan producer licence is a result of the Artisan Liquor Bill, which was passed by Parliament on 9 March 2021 and is proposed to commence on May 3, 2021.

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