Australia is awash with new independent breweries. Craft beer producers have grown from less than 100 in 2005 to upwards of 400 today. On average, a new physical brewery opens almost weekly. This is surprising given the significant tax disadvantages these small players face due to unfair excises and rebates.
Craft brewers in Australia can be traced back to the 1980s. While the Australian beer market consolidated to leave two giants — CUB and Lion Nathan — entrepreneurs emerged at the industry’s fringe. These craft producers started to reintroduce and re-imagine beer styles that were no longer on the giants’ radars.
There was a brief surge of independent entrants from the mid-1980s, but that crashed in the face of the early 1990s recession. The craft beer industry then bubbled along quietly for the next decade or so until the real surge came in around 2004.
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