By James Atkinson
The Craft Beer Industry Association (CBIA) has announced that Senator Christine Milne, leader of the Australian Greens, and Rob Oakeshott MP, Member for Lyne, will be the first to take up a new category of membership of the organisation.
Milne – who last year told TheShout why she supports craft beer – and Oakeshott have agreed to take up the positions of joint 'Number 1 Beer Enthusiasts', a membership designed for individuals who are passionate about good beer and want to be involved in helping to develop the craft beer industry in Australia.
"Our industry is thankful to them for the work they did in securing a measure of excise relief in the last Federal Budget," said CBIA chair Brad Rogers.
"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," he said.
"Senator Milne and Mr Oakeshott understand that the craft beer industry makes an important contribution to Australian society by providing employment opportunities in a broad spectrum of industries, not just in breweries, it also encourages tourism especially in regional and rural areas and it promotes a responsible drinking culture through the mantra of 'Drink Less, Drink Better'."
The Beer Enthusiast membership category will be available to the public from today when the Craft Beer Industry Association launches its new website, www.australiancraftbeer.org.au.
The enthusiast membership will cost $50 a year and benefits will include a CBIA pint glass, a CBIA bumper sticker, a regular newsletter, discounted entry to CBIA events and entry into regular prize draws.