By Andrew Starke

The Australian microbrewing industry has expressed alarm at speculation the Henry Review will recommend a single, flat tax across the alcoholic beverage industry.

Such a move would push up the price of craft beer and further handicap the smaller brewer’s efforts to compete with the major players.

John Stallwood, director / brewer at Nail Brewing Australia and editor of an online microbrewing forum,, said the industry had been lobbying the government for the past 10 years, with mixed results.

The most recent push was in early 2009 with the creation of

“The microbrewing industry helps Australia in many ways including, tourism, employment and regional development,” Stallwood told TheShout. “The microbrewing industry is struggling due to excise, even though there is demand for unique quality craft beer. The industry struggles and excise is a barrier for growth, unlike in many other countries where they have fair excise.

“In Australia we have excise relief to 30,000 litres, in the US there is excise relief to 7,000,000 litres,” he added. “Many Australian breweries are presently struggling and collapsing, if excise doesn’t improve, many more will crash. If excise gets worse then the industry will be killed.”

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The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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