Acclaimed head brewer at the Australian Brewery and international beer judge, Neal Cameron, spoke with PubTIC about ‘Who’ll be the Judge’.
As a nation we have an excessive belief in the power of legislation to cure all our societal ills; daily cries from media and interest groups for the government to legislate our problems away. We are also one of the most brutal electorates in the world, showing a persistent distaste for the politicians for whom we vote. The irony of which is of course laughable.
Elements of the brewing industry cry foul of the ‘big two” – soon to be three, with CCA surging back into the market – and their anti-competitive tap contracts. The recent ACCC investigation was of course doomed, and will do little.
I, however, love tap contracts.
The more the big breweries squeeze the drinking public into limited choice, offering anodyne, graceless lagers or pseudo-craft offerings – the more the public will fight against them for the choice they are programmed to expect.
In 20 years in the industry, I have never seen more choice of beers or venues available to our nation’s craft beer drinkers, or a more knowledgeable industry seeking out new offerings.
Far from stifling competition, tap contracts are creating a pressure cooker of desire for change amongst a few million cashed-up beer drinkers. This is surely a far more potent agent for change than the ever-changing carousel of a few bureaucrats.