The Sip beer team continues its look at movements and deals in the WA brewing scene with another instalment of our irregular news column.
RUBBISHING RECYCLING PLAN WILL BE COSTLY
Breweries that sell packaged beer in WA without registering for the incoming Container Deposit Scheme will face $75,000 fines under legislation being debated in State Parliament.
The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Amendment (Container Deposit) Bill 2018 was introduced into the Legislative Assembly late last year and will undergo further scrutiny before becoming law, likely by April.
However, the scheme, which allows consumers to get a 10-cent refund when returning glass and aluminium vessels to official recycling points won’t come into action until March next year.
But already WA breweries have been advised to update their cans and stubby labels with the official 10-cent refund information and logo to ensure their stocks are compliant when the scheme kicks off.
In a letter to beverage companies, the State Government has recommended “the number ‘10’ be a minimum of 3mm in height and have a minimum 3mm ‘free space’ boundary around the refund marking.
“Beverage containers covered by the scheme which do not display a barcode and this refund mark will not be able to be sold legally in Western Australia when the scheme commences,” was the message from the Department of Environment.
In clause 47E of the proposed legislation “a person who is the first responsible supplier of a beverage” – for instance a brewery – “commits an offence” if the product isn’t registered with the scheme coordinator and doesn’t bear “a refund mark and a barcode that complies with the requirements prescribed by the regulations.
“Penalty for this subsection: a fine of $75,000.”
Although the legislation is in parliament, the finer details of the CDS, such as the cost per vessel each brewery will have to contribute to the refund scheme and whether cans with 360 degree lids are allowed, have yet to be determined.
But breweries can expect to pay around 11 cents per can and glass bottle under three litres. And that cost will be passed on to the consumer - a month after a scheduled rise in excise.
Here is the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation's discussion paper on the Container Deposit Scheme.
ROCKING THE CAN BAR
Speaking of cans there will be a spike in small WA breweries going into tinnies over the next week.
While Blasta has been busy putting more of its core range into the aluminium, including the Cat's Whiskers Strawberry and Cream American Pale Ale (4.8%) which came out this month, Beerland and Bright Tank will follow the trend this week as the Wylie mobile canning line gets a thorough workout.
Bootleg gave the machine a stern test earlier in the week and Bright Tank is next in line (pardon the pun) as it launches Hitchhiker Galaxy Session Pale Ale (4.7%) as its first packaged product.
Bright Tank boss Matt Moore discussed the move on The Sip Beer Laboratory podcast - Click below to tune in.
Then on Saturday, the Northbridge Brewing Company will clear some tables and chairs to put on a bit of brewing theatre for consumers by sealing the Beerland James St Juice live at the venue.
Beerland has put its Australian International Beer Awards champion Wheat and its Pale Ale into bottles but the Juice will be the first experiment with cans.
The end product has almost sold out with Beerland offering drinkers the opportunity to reserve cans for advance purchase.
Both the Northbridge and Whitfords venues will be continuing with the 945ml takeaway canimals of their in-house brews.
BOOTLEG BAGS NEW BREWER
There will be plenty of craft beer aficionados heading to Busselton on Saturday for the South West Coast Beer Festival and they will get the chance to taste the wares of a new man in charge of the Bootleg operation.
Dave Phillips, formerly of Matso’s in Broome, has headed to the Margaret River region to take control of the Wilyabrup brewhouse.
MORE ON THE SOUTH WEST CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL
Former head brewer Ryan Nilsson-Linne is still involved with Bootleg but is spending more time on the back-end of the business.
One of Phillips’ recent tasks was to work with the South West festival crew to brew a special collaborative beer for event day.
The Hulk IIPA will be keenly sought at Signal Park.
FROM THE MALT RUMOUR MILL
Could a new kid on the WA brewing block soon be involved in a collaboration with New Zealand craft beer wizards Garage Project?
The two breweries have struck up a close bond over the past 12 months and a partnership beer has been discussed. And it could well be produced on this side of Australasia.