Craft brewers like Smeaton Grange’s Stockade Brewco – which will soon expand operations into Goulburn – will no longer pay additional tax, allowing them to compete on fairer terms with large beverage companies.
Federal Member for Hume Angus Taylor said this was great news for craft brewers and distillers who will benefit from the Turnbull Government’s continued support for Aussie small businesses.
“We are increasing the amount beverage companies can claim back on their excise and extending the concessional draught beer excise rate to smaller kegs, typically used by craft brewers,” Mr Taylor said.
“This extra help will drive competition in a sector dominated by large domestic and multinational brewers, opening the door to new products and opportunities for businesses like Stockade Brewco who are in the process of expanding their operations into Goulburn.
“This means more jobs and the likelihood of lower craft beer prices for consumers.”
Stockade Brewco CEO Anton Szpitalak said the excise rebate would be a godsend for a lot of small brewers.
“Anything to assist small brewers is a fantastic outcome,” he said.
He said extending the concessional draught beer excise rates to kegs of eight litres or more would level the playing field for craft brewers, which typically use smaller sized kegs, to distribute their beer to pubs, clubs and restaurants.
Currently, draught beer sold in kegs exceeding 48 litres is taxed at lower rates compared with beer sold in smaller kegs.
“Thirty litre kegs are the number one export option – so creating a congruent product stream for both domestic and international markets is good for our export prospects,” Mr Szpitalak said.
“Thirty litre kegs are also easier and safer to handle in trade; cafes and restaurants may move to craft to boost draft sales.
Mr Taylor said the alcohol excise refund scheme cap would increase from $30,000 a year to $100,000, from July 1 next year for all brewers and distillers.
“There are around 380 craft brewers in Australia across each State and Territory, employing the equivalent of almost 2,400 people,” he said.
“These brewers are predominantly small businesses and could benefit both from the increase to the excise refund cap and extended access to the concessional draught beer excise rate.
“There are also over 100 domestic distillers, supporting around 1,600 jobs that could benefit from the changes.”