By Andrew Starke

So incensed is one beer producer with what he contends is the misclassification of an ancient brewing style that he intends petitioning the Government.

Founder of Phoenix Beers, Leif Ryan, is fighting an August 28, 2009, tax definition of beer that was introduced to ensure beverages that mimic spirit-based ready to drinks are taxed at the same rate as RTDs.

However the new definition classes some Lambic Beers as RTDs because of the use of a small quantity of artificial sweetener in the beer.

“The government in its hurry to raise taxes on RTD style products, managed to redefine Lambic Beers as RTDs,” said Ryan. “Lambic beers are probably the world’s oldest style of beer and can by no stretch of the imagination be described as alcopops.

“Even though this totally ridiculous situation has been pointed out to the government they simply refuse to do anything about it.”

Lambic beers are one of the world’s oldest styles of beers and are produced using naturally occurring yeasts. The base beer is extremely sour and the brewer often adds fruit to offset this.

Because of they are generally low in alcohol and high in price, Ryan contends that Lambic Beers are definitely not RTDs and the danger is that these products will no longer be brought into Australia.

“With the increase in taxes, these wonderful beers have been priced out of the reach of many Australian beer lovers, with many varieties simply no longer imported,” he said.

“We therefore ask the House to urgently amend the legislation to exempt Lambic beers and any other traditional beers from being defined as RTDs and tax them at the same rate as other beers.”

Click here to request a copy of the petition.


The Shout Team

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

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