They aren’t your usual measure for the economic health of the community, but Eurobodalla Mayor Mathew Hatcher says the swathe of artisanal brew-pubs and spirit distilleries popping up across the shire reflects well on Eurobodalla’s developing food and drink culture.
“It’s a case of think global, act local,” said Mayor Hatcher.
“Brew pubs are on the rise across the world – it’s a viable career path for young entrepreneurs. They can make a living close to home, developing a craft they love and bringing a fresh vibe that reinvigorates our social arena.
“Often there’s outdoor seating or events – that draws people in from further afield. Directly and indirectly, these ventures add to our local economy and, more importantly, build a sense of community.”
The Australian Brewers Association reported a national preference for Australian beers, which make up 85 per cent of the market. The big three – CUB, Lion and Coopers – make up 78 per cent of product, with craft beer at five per cent and home brew at two per cent.
Eurobodalla Council’s manager of economic development Teresa Lever said demand for craft beers continued to grow at 5.3 per cent nationally despite an overall decline in beer drinking.
“It’s not about people drinking more but their taking an interest in product quality and provenance,” Ms Lever said.
“We have anecdotal information that younger people are moving into our region. Clearly a new generation are taking up opportunities offered by this growing artisanal industry.”
Council’s manager of development services Gary Bruce said several craft breweries and/or gin distilleries – located at Tilba, Corunna, Dalmeny, Bodalla, Moruya, Broulee and Mogo – had submitted development applications in the last couple of years.