Craft brewers in New South Wales are celebrating their state government’s decision to extend the same licensing rights that wine makers currently enjoy to local breweries. Once implemented, breweries will be able to operate an on-site bar or restaurant much more easily, and sell their brews at producers’ markets. The changes are scheduled to come into force within six months.
The NSW government made this welcome decision in response to the Foggo Review of the Liquor Act 2007. Mr Michael Foggo, a former Commissioner of the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, chaired the independent review. It received 106 submissions from the community, government agencies, local councils, industry and the health sector.
In their official response, the NSW government said they “support the review’s finding that no valid reason exists to continue to limit the opportunities available to beer and spirits producers, compared to wine producers.” They also noted “many beer and spirits producers operate as small businesses, often in regional areas in a similar capacity to wine producers.”
The hospitality industry will be encouraged to see the state government formerly recognised in their response that “alcohol is widely enjoyed within society, can be consumed in a responsible manner, and the liquor and associated industries make a significant contribution to the social and economic fabric of New South Wales.”
There is much that the New Zealand Government and local councils could learn from this sensible approach.