Distillers welcome Queensland Artisan Liquor Bill

12 March, 2021 by Andy Young

The Australian Distillers Association has welcomed the passing of Queensland’s Liquor (Artisan Liquor) Amendment Bill 2020, which it says will help the state’s local artisan liquor businesses to grow.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, the Honourable Shannon Fentiman, aims to give Queensland’s artisan distillers and craft brewers more opportunities to grow their business by operating under their own, tailor-made, liquor licence.

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Minister Fentiman said Queenland’s small-scale liquor producers will be able to apply for a new artisan producer licence.

“This is all about backing small business, creating jobs, and helping Queensland kickstart its economy after COVID,” she said.

“And this is fantastic news for Queensland’s artisan distillers and craft brewers to help them grow their business, and their brand.

“This sector was identified as an up and coming powerhouse, not only within Queensland’s liquor industry but in the state’s greater business landscape.

“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.”

The Government said 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 ADA welcomed the bill and thanked Minister Fentiman and the Palaszczuk Government for its strong support of the industry, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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.

Speaking in support for the amendments, David Ridden – President of the Queensland ADA Branch and Owner and Director of Grandad Jack’s Craft Distillery, Gold Coast said: “Members across the country are in small regional towns, [and] 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.