Push for craft beer "equality" to wine

Grand Ridge Brewery owner Eric Walters says the industry faces a number of challenges in the future. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY
Grand Ridge Brewery owner Eric Walters says the industry faces a number of challenges in the future. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

THE founder of Victoria's oldest craft brewery wants governments to do more to support the industry.

Grand Ridge Brewery's Eric Walters said Australia's concentrated beer market made it difficult for small breweries to make inroads at retail and venue level.

Speaking at the Bendigo Craft Beer and Cider Fesitval, Mr Walters said high tax levels compared with winemakers were also impacting the ability of the industry to expand.

"It's a very restrictive market when big business owns a lot of the taps," he said.

"We also want to have parity and equity with winemakers in terms of tax."

Despite the challenges in the industry, Mr Walters said craft beer festivals in Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong were a great way to support small brewing businesses.

"Regional Victoria is leading the pack. It has a very large base of craft beer followers, and has been a strong advocate of all craft brewers," he said.