Independent brewers welcome 'seal of independence' to mark difference to multinationals

TWO prominent North-East brewers have welcomed the introduction of a new ‘seal of independence’ to separate genuine craft beers from products produced by multinational companies.

The seal will be available to the 200-odd members of the Independent Brewers Association, of which the Bright Brewery and Bridge Rd Brewers are members.

A number of major craft beers, including the likes of Little Creature, Mountain Goat and Feral are owned by major drinks companies.

Bright Brewery marketing and sales manager James Davidson said the move would help beer enthusiasts better support smaller breweries.

“It’s very much a positive move for independent brewers to help distinguish them from corporates and multinationals,” he said.

“Consumers are more and more interested in where products are coming from, who makes them, why they’re made, so this is a great way for us to stand out.” 

Mr Davidson said while diversity in the craft beer market was welcome, being able to choose a beer that supported a local economy rather than send profits offshore would be a selling point for smaller businesses.

“They say imitation is the highest form of flattery,” he said.

“It’s understandable that the market is calling for more interesting and flavoursome beers, and of course bigger brewers are going to target a market that appeals to the consumer.

“It’s no longer just our domain to be the only ones making craft beer.

“It is our domain though, to support our local economy.

“Being privately owned means what we generate goes back into the local economy rather than being sent overseas.” 

The craft beer market is worth just over $486 million in Australia, with independent brewers like Bright and Bridge Road accounting for 42.5 per cent of that.

The remaining share is taken up by brands owned by multinational companies Lion (40.9%) and SAB Beverage Investments (16.6%).

A similar independent label appears on beers in the United States and Britain.