Morrison government raises a glass to indie beer in budget: a win for indie brewers will help build a new Australian-owned brewing industry


Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has today announced an investment in Australian independent brewers that will help drive down the jobless rate by increasing the beer excise tax rebate from $100,000 to $350,000.

The increased tax rebate will help Australian independent brewers reinvest and continue to grow their burgeoning home-grown industry.

"Today’s investment from the Morrison Government is helping to rebuild an Australian-owned beer industry that will turbo-charge growth and deliver skilled jobs in family owned, independent breweries around the country,” said Independent Brewers Association (IBA) Chairman and founder of Sydney-based Wayward Brewing Co Peter Philip.

Until now, about $0.42 in every dollar of independent brewer revenue has been remitted in some form of federal tax.

“Excise tax is the single largest component of the cost of making a litre of beer, and it’s one of the highest beer taxes in the world.

“With this change, small brewers will be able to invest more in people, equipment, and facilities to meet growing demand.” Mr Philip said.

The rebate allows brewers to claim a refund of up to $350,000 of excise paid per year. Even after the rebate, independent brewers are forecast to contribute more than $200 million in excise to the government in the 2022 financial year, growing to more than $300m in FY2025.

Australia’s 600+ independent beer brewers contribute a massive $1.93 billion in economic output to the economy.

They directly employ 7,000 people representing 51% of all employment in the Australian brewing industry. The industry indirectly supports more than 33,000 jobs in associated industries such as agriculture, logistics, manufacturing, and hospitality.

“This new incentive will accelerate the resurgence of an Australian-owned beer industry, while giving consumers more home-grown choices. Consumers want to support local businesses that keep profits in Australia, which is why Australian beer lovers should look for the IBA Independent Seal for confidence that the beer that they are buying is independently owned,” Philip added. “Australia’s independent brewers grew by 15% in 2020, despite the beer market declining by 1.7% overall last year."

“Clearly the Morrison government is backing a winner that is poised for further growth," said IBA General Manager Kylie Lethbridge. "We’re forecasting investment of more than $500m in new manufacturing capability in Australia, as well as the creation of an additional 6,300 direct and 23,000 supporting jobs over the next five years. Importantly, these jobs will spread into many regional and rural areas across the country with two-thirds of indie breweries located outside the cities. Independent breweries are becoming an important part of our culture and community. They provide unique visitor experiences for tourists, as well as vital skilled jobs in regional areas where those jobs are currently lacking.”

“The Australian beer industry will do in the next 20 years what the wine industry did for Australia in the 1980's, and the Morrison Government should be congratulated for their vision
in helping enable this.” Concluded Mr Philip.