The Palaszczuk government will invest $1.1 million to deliver Australia’s first BrewLab in early 2020.

Located at Coopers Plains Health and Food Sciences Precinct, BrewLab will allow Australian craft brewers to test their products, developing new recipes without interrupting their own production lines.

“Providing craft brewers with state-of-the-art facilities to create new recipes will ensure the local industry continues to grow and more jobs are created for Queenslanders,” says Cameron Dick, minister for manufacturing.

“Craft brewing has the potential to contribute around $100 million to the Queensland economy each year, so we’re investing in the future of these businesses through initiatives like BrewLab to ensure our brewers can keep employing and thriving.

“BrewLab will include a sensory lab and quality assurance services, where brewers can get their beers tasted by an expert panel or focus groups, and get their beer tested for elements such as acidity and alcohol volume.

“This will help brewers identify target markets, potential product improvements and opportunities for new product development.

“Brewers can also get their brewery staff trained in precise identification and tasting of aromas, flavours and tastes.”

In addition, BrewLab will house Queensland’s first TAFE course in brewing, with application for Certificate III in Food Processing (Brewing) opening in 2020.

“In a Queensland first, TAFE Queensland will be introducing the Certificate III in Food Processing (Brewing) with training being delivered at the new state-of-the-art BrewLab,” says minister for training and skills Shannon Fentiman. “Queensland is home to a growing number of craft brewers and we want to make sure they can continue to grow and create more local jobs.

“This collaboration between TAFE and the BrewLab will mean Queenslanders will be able to access the training they need to fill highly skilled brewing jobs, ensuring businesses can grow their local workforce.

“Training in brewing at TAFE and the new BrewLab is due to begin in 2020.”

“We’re excited to be working with the Queensland Government on this new course, which will give brewers the technical and practical understanding of the brewing process needed in a dynamic industry,” says Mary Campbell, TAFE Queensland chief executive.

“Brewing craft beer requires a high level of skill, so making a formal qualification available alongside BrewLab is a great way to invest in people and training.”

The Queensland BrewLab sits within the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Food Pilot Plant facility, which provides technical and research capability to the broader food industry across Queensland.

Steve ‘Hendo’ Henderson from Rockstar Brewer Academy believes that BrewLab will give brewers the tools to produce the best possible products.

“Consumers naturally gravitate towards a high-quality product, and facilities like the Queensland BrewLab give industry a way to make sure we have high quality beer on tap,” says Henderson.

“As an industry, we want to welcome new consumers; we want them to taste a craft beer, enjoy it, and then come back for more. That’s how we’ll grow the craft brewing industry in Queensland.”

Craft beer production in Queensland is currently worth more than $62 million annually. On average, each of the state’s 90 independent craft brewers employs around 20 Queenslanders.

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