big issue

Where To From Here For Local Beer?

With Hawkers – one of the most successful Australian breweries of the past decade – entering administration, we look at the impact of the current climate on the wider industry, and ask what change is needed to turn things around.

The Year Of Living Precariously

A year ago today, news that Ballistic Beer Co had entered voluntary administration sent shockwaves through the local beer world. Here, we take a look back at the carnage that has followed in the 12 months since.

Burnout And Beer: Paying The Passion Tax

Craft beer is often driven by passion but love for the industry can leave people burnt out and exhausted. We spoke to people who've experienced burnout: what caused it and how the industry can become a better place to work.

The Exploding Cost Of Brewing Beer

To gain a greater understanding of the challenges facing brewers, we broke down the cost of brewing Hawkers' trophy-winning West Coast IPA, and how those costs have exploded in recent years.

Chronically Crafty: Managing Health In The Beer Industry

Chronic medical conditions can be nonstop and balancing self-care with a passion that surrounds you with booze is a fine line to walk. Type one diabetic Will Ziebell speaks to people working in beer with chronic health conditions.

Burnout And Beer: A View From The States

Craft beer is an industry driven by passion but, if that fades, where can workers turn? Katie Muggli took an industry-wide moment of self reflection and decided to build a resource to support those working in American craft beer.

2022: Craft Beer's Strangest Year Yet?

Lockdowns are a thing of the past yet 2022 is proving to be another grim year for many in the beer industry. We ask why, and look at what can be done to ensure better days lie ahead.

The Big Issue: Private Label Beers

Initial, Zytho, Tinnies, Colossal, Algorithm, Culture House, Gogo Fish – all the names of brands behind pales, IPAs, stouts and sours. And all brewed for the country's major drinks retailers. We look at the renewed rise of "homebrand" beers.

The Big Issue: Skills Shortage

It goes without saying that the COVID pandemic has created huge problems for the local beer and hospitality industries. One issue it's exacerbated is a skills shortage, both when it comes to brewing and running venues.

Our Story

In this companion piece to Her Story, we examine what needs to happen on an individual, societal, workplace and industry scale to tackle the issues of sexism, sexual assault and gender inequality.

Gypsy Hub
Fresh Harvest Frenchies 2024
Is Fresh Always Best?

Fresh is best is a mantra we hear often in the beer world but can a beer be too fresh? Packaging shock is common parlance in the wine world but rarely raised in beer, while hazy, hoppy beers can perform better later too.

The Big Issue: The Future Of Beer Fests II

Six months ago, we asked what beer festivals might look like in the new COVID-altered landscape. As events start to make their comeback, we revisited the topic to see what else has been learned and what might lie ahead.

The Big Issue: The Future Of Beer Fests

How will beer festivals look in a post-COVID world? We chat to the organisers of those still going ahead in 2020 and others who've had to adapt about the future of major events in the local beer world.

The Big Issue: Coping with COVID-19 Part II

Many of us face mental health challenges at the best of times. With the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacting the beer and hospo industries, we look at the difficulties people are facing and the support they can seek.

The Big Issue: Coping With COVID-19 Part I

Many of us face mental health challenges at the best of times. With the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacting the beer and hospo industries, we look at the difficulties people are facing and the support they can seek.

The Big Issue: Beer Quality

As the craft industry grows and consumer knowledge increases in step, ensuring you're consistently releasing quality beer has arguably never been more important. In this Big Issue feature, we look at why – and how it can be done.

The Big Issue: Cracking The Code

A number of well publicised cases has brought the role of ABAC in setting the standards for alcohol advertising to the fore. We speak to ABAC's chair and industry figures to find out how businesses can avoid running into trouble.

The Big Issue: On A Wing & So Rare

The air-freighting of beers from some of the world's most hyped breweries to be showcased at Australian bars is on the rise. We spoke to a handful of people driving the movement to find out why.

The Big Issue: Withdrawing The Line

There's been a clutch of product withdrawals in the local craft beer and cider industry in recent months. Here, we ask why, look at what steps brewery owners are taking and why knowing how to handle a quality issue is key.

The Big Issue: Drinking

Working with beer is a dream job: free-flowing deliciousness, fun people and cool places. But alcohol is also a poison and working long or odd hours and being surrounded by beer poses challenges too.


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The Big Issue: Ownership Revisited III

Close to 100 brewing companies have licensed the IBA's independence seal since its launch in May. We contacted the US Brewers Association, whose campaign inspired it, to find out how they are driving the message in the States.

The Big Issue: Copyright Or Wrong?

Borrowing from pop culture is one way in which many breweries have fun with their beers and branding. But is there a danger of overstepping the mark? And what are the consequences for anyone that does?

The Big Issue: Ownership Revisited II

Last month, we returned to the topic of ownership. Then, we sought the views of people predominantly operating in the independent sector. Here, we follow up with the views of those who own or work for formerly independent beer brands that are now part of larger businesses.

The Big Issue: Who Owns Your Beer?

If ownership of a product is important to you as a buyer, choosing from a fridge of beers has never been trickier, particularly if you're shopping at one of the country's two major retailers. Here, following recent of acquisitions, we look at who owns some of the country's beer brands.

The Big Issue: Sexism

Typically, it's overtly sexist labels or crude marketing that brings the beer world's relationship with women into the spotlight. But, as Marie Claire Jarratt finds, there's a more permanent and insidious form of sexism affecting women every day.

The Big Issue: Brewer Shortage

As the craft beer industry continues to expand at a rate of knots, it's experiencing growing pains. Among them is a shortage of experienced brewers, an issue that can prove costly, time-consuming and, potentially, dangerous.

Price Wars Revisited

Back in May, we ran a two-part Secret Brewer feature looking at the price war going on in parts of Australia. Six months on, it's intensifying and spreading, according to a number of brewers we've spoken to.

The Big Issue: Branding Revisited

With the marketplace becoming ever busier, cans on the rise and breweries rebranding seemingly every week, it's time to revisit the issue of branding. Over two days, our trio of WA writers examine one of the great challenges facing brewers.

Tap Contracts Here To Stay

Small, independent Australian brewers didn't get the news they were hoping for today. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released the results of its multi-year investigation into tap access and declared the status quo was here to stay.

Enjoy By

Some breweries print a best before or packaged date on the label, some put a date on the bottle, others have nothing at all. For the consumer in a bottleshop, how are they to know what’s new, what’s old, and what’s been kept in a warm warehouse for months?

Goat Rocky IIPA
Darker Days 2024
The Secret Brewer: Price Wars Pt II

Yesterday, we presented an article from The Secret Brewer claiming a price war poses serious challenges and issues for the Australian craft beer industry. Here, a brewery owner, a sales rep and a venue owner respond to those claims.

The Secret Brewer: Price Wars

For the past couple of years, there has been much discussion around the prevalence of low priced kegs – and more recently cases – hitting the markets, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney. This Secret Brewer two-parter asks if it's good for beer.

The Secret Brewer: Gypsy Brewing Pt II

Yesterday, we launched a new series, The Secret Brewer, in which an unnamed brewer laid out their concerns about gypsy and contract brewing. Today, brewers from here and overseas respond to the points raised in the article.

The Secret Brewer: Gypsy Brewing

The Secret Brewer is a new series in which a local brewer lets off steam about an issue that's troubling them. First up: gypsy brewers. Tomorrow, we'll present responses to the points raised by our mystery brewer in part two.

The Big Issue: Exploitation

The official line is that craft beer is a resoundingly good thing. And that working in the industry means you're the luckiest person alive. Yet what happens when someone's goodwill or eagerness to be part of it is exploited beyond all reasonable limits?

The Big Issue: The Canned Wagon Pt II

Earlier in the week, we looked at the history and recent renaissance of cans in the beer world. Today, in part two of her Big Issue feature, Marie Claire Jarratt delves deeper with a panel of experts.

The Big Issue: The Canned Wagon Pt I

After a slow start, the rise of craft tinnies has been little short of phenomenal. Today, we kick off a two-part Big Issue feature, looking at how and why they've come to prominence and how popular they may become.

The Big Issue: Crowdfunding Pt II

In part two of our look at crowdfunding in the craft beer world, Will Ziebell seeks the thoughts of a provider, a supporter, a commentator and two people who've run campaigns on this increasingly popular method of raising capital.

The Big Issue: Crowdfunding Pt I

Crowdfunding has become increasingly popular among both new and existing beer businesses. In the first of a two-part series, Will Ziebell speaks to crowdfunding platform Pozible and a brewery that has run a successful campaign.

The Big Issue: Gotta Catch 'Em All II

In part I of Gotta Catch 'Em All, we looked at the rise of beer hunting, collecting and rating in the craft beer community. Today, we delve deeper in the company of a diverse panel from the beer world, including Untappd's co-founder.

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Bintani- Updated Behind The Brew- E
The Big Issue: Gotta Catch 'Em All

For some, tasting every new, rare and highly rated beer has become an addiction, one that's aided by sites and apps like RateBeer and Untappd. Over two days, Kerry McBride explores whether this is a good thing for beer.

The Big Issue: Water Sustainability

Water makes up more than 90 percent of the beer you drink. It is also in increasingly scarce supply in Australia. For our latest Big Issue article, Graham Frizzell speaks to three people looking to reduce their breweries' water consumption here and in California.

The Big Issue: Hops

There have been shortages in the supply of certain hops in past years but 2016 promises to be the first in which there is a significant impact on Aussie brewers. We speak to four key growers and suppliers to find out why – and how to prepare.

The Big Issue: Quality

Is there anything more important when it comes to beer than quality, both when it leaves the brewery and the experience enjoyed by each drinker who buys a beer? For our first Big Issue feature of 2016, six experts share their views.

The Big Issue: Branding

As the beer landscape in Australia becomes ever more crowded and competition intensifies, it's not enough simply to brew good beer. How a brewery presents itself and its beers is perhaps more crucial then ever before, so we're addressing branding as our second "Big Issue" topic.

The Big Issue: Ownership

Takeovers and buy-ins, supermarket craft and vague labelling. Both here and internationally, the issue of ownership and its impact on the beer world is constantly in the news. Over two days, we look at what it means for craft beer and those who drink it in Australia.

The Big Issue: Ownership Infographic

Today, we launch a two-part series looking at the issue of ownership in the Australian beer world. As well as seeking the views of various people in the industry, we have compiled a fun graphic showing who's behind some small Australian brands.

New Hope On Excise?

A fresh call for changes to the tough tax regime faced by the country’s craft brewers was put in front of politicians this week. Greens Deputy Leader Christine Milne raised a motion in Parliament calling…