The Craft Beer Industry Association has launched their new website and announced a new membership category for beer enthusiasts.

The association’s new website has been developed with the interests of a wide variety of people in mind – the trade, media, politicians and the broader brewing industry for starters. As such, the site now holds considerable resources related to Australian craft beer industry, as well as providing a linked entry – website, contact details and social media – for every member.

The members only section of the site now includes a classifieds section, bulletin board, details of what is happening with the sub-committees and links to marketing resources and technical information.
Along with the website launch, the CBIA also went live with their newest membership category: Beer Enthusiast.
This new category is for those individuals linked to the industry – either as a professional or as a passionate consumer – in order to build a support base within the broader community to potentially assist the CBIA with its lobbying efforts. Membership costs AUD$50 per annum and includes a CBIA pint glass, a CBIA bumper sticker, a regular news letter, discounted entry to CBIA events and entry into regular prize draws.

And in recognition of the lobbying efforts of Senator Christine Milne, Leader of the Australian Greens, and Mr Rob Oakeshott MP, Member for Lyne, the two politicians have been granted the honour of being joint Number 1 CBIA Beer Enthusiasts.

[Read Thunder Road Brewing Co’s response to this news here.]

According to Craft Beer Industry Association chair Brad Rogers, the prestigious positions are a gesture of thanks for the work they did in securing excise relief in the last Federal Budget.

“We are delighted that Senator Milne and Mr Oakeshott have agreed to take up the positions of joint Number 1 Beer Enthusiasts,” he says. “I think every craft brewer in Australia wanted to buy them a beer but short of that we think that awarding them Number 1 CBIA Beer Enthusiast status is the next best thing.”

Senator Milne and Minister Oakeshott are strong proponents of the craft brewing industry in Australia for its ability to provide employment opportunities and encourage tourism.

“One of the reasons I’ve been campaigning for changes to the alcohol tax regime since 2008 is because I believe craft beers are fantastic for creating sustainable local jobs, especially in rural and regional communities,” says Senator Milne. “I strongly support creating a more diversified economy that also promotes local producers, highlighting local ingredients, and local tourism. Craft beers are not just great for beer appreciators; they’re great for the whole community. It encourages responsible drinking by producing premium products that we can appreciate and admire. We support changes to the alcohol tax regime on public health grounds and to ensure a level playing field in the sector.”

Mr Oakeshott is similarly delighted by the honour.

“I now have a certificate stating ‘Number 1 Beer Enthusiast’. Homer [Simpson] would be proud,”he says. “I am also pleased to reach a beer supply and beer confidence agreement with Senator Milne, and look forward to her announcing this at the National Press Club soon. On a more serious note, the challenges faced by small brewers in areas like taxation are very real and deserve greater attention and support from governments – federal and state. Last year’s Federal Budget changes are now having a positive impact on the profitability of small brewing companies and on employment opportunities. And as a down payment on future reform, that’s worth raising a glass to.”

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