new brewery beers cheers

The Victorian Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund is now open to
brewers with producers licences only according to the latest from
the Independent Brewers Association.

It emerged earlier that this month that the $251 million Fund,
aimed at venues in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria
which had been hit hard by the strict COVID-19 lockdowns, was not
accessible to breweries which did not also hold a general or late
night, club, restaurant and cafe liquor licence.

The welcome U-turn from the state government comes after

a battle from the brewers’ organisation
and industry to raise
the profile of the issue, leading to Premier Dan Andrews being
questioned about it at a press conference.

Kylie Lethbridge, who along with other IBA members has been
spearheading the move to put pressure on the state government, said
it was a major win.

“This is fantastic news for indie brewers and we would like to
applaud the state government for their response to our requests and
for seeing the anomaly for what it was, simply an oversight,” she
said.

“Our members have done it tough this year so access to funding
will be a huge relief and will enable them to breathe a little
easier as they focus on reopening and welcoming back their
customers.

“So, a big thank you to the Premier and his team for hearing
our cries and for allowing Victorians to get back on the beers in
their favourite venue.”

Despite the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions saying
that fund allocation was not means-tested, it reasoned that
breweries with production licences may have been able to sell
off-premise during the COVID period, indicating that this was why
the fund had not been inclusive of them.

“We know that breweries have experienced a reduction in
revenue due to coronavirus restrictions but unlike pubs, many have
been able to continue to wholesale and retail their products,” a
DJPR spokesperson said at the time.

“Breweries that hold a separate liquor licence in addition to
a producers licence may be eligible for a grant through the
Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund.”

“In addition, breweries that hold a food Certificate of
Registration may be eligible for a $5,000 grant through the Outdoor
Eating and Entertainment Package.”

Find out more about the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund and how
to apply
here
.

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