Craft beer producer liquor licensing options
Queensland Government is committed to supporting local craft brewers and the Queensland Craft Brewing Strategy, within its policy on the responsible consumption of alcohol. We recognise that craft beer producers may wish to adopt different business models to sell their products and operate their business.
As with all forms of alcohol in Queensland, the sale of craft beer must be licensed.
There are a number of liquor licensing options available as a craft beer producer, so you can decide which option is best for you.
Choosing the right option
An Australian Government brewery licence is a prerequisite for the legal manufacture of beer for commercial purposes. To apply for a licence to sell liquor under the Liquor Act 1992, craft beer producers should already hold a brewers licence.
Craft brewers typically sell their craft beer in accordance with a producer/wholesaler licence. But there are other options which may provide greater flexibility for the circumstances in which you operate.
Regardless of which option you choose, you must meet the principal activity of that licence. For example, as a craft brewer who holds a producer/wholesaler licence, your main business must be the production and wholesale of beer made and sold on the licensed premises.
If you are considering one of the below options, you should contact the Customer Support Team on 1300 072 322.
- Artisan producer licence
As a producer of craft beer of at least 2,500 litres but no more than 5 million litres in any financial year, you can sell your craft beer for consumption on or off the licensed premises. You can also sell other licensees' craft beer or artisanal spirits and Queensland wine for consumption on the premises only.
You may also sell your own craft beer at promotional events if authorised by a condition of the licence.
- Producer/wholesaler licence
As a producer of craft beer, you can sell your craft beer, or other liquor which you are a wholesaler, both of which must be produced on the premises, to a visitor to the licensed premises for on or off-premises consumption.
You may also sell your craft beer at promotional events if authorised by a condition of the licence.
- Commercial other - subsidiary on premises (meals) or (cafe) licence
This type of licence would allow you to sell any type of alcohol for on-premises consumption as a complementary aspect of the business of providing meals/prepared food. Because you cannot have more than 1 licence for the same area, the producer/wholesaler and meals/cafe licensed areas would have to be separate but may be adjoining.
- Commercial other bar licence
A bar licence would allow you to sell any type of alcohol for on-premises consumption within the area licensed, provided that you comply with the restrictions of a seating capacity of 60 and no more than 100 patrons on the premises. Similar to option 2, the bar licence and producer/wholesaler licensed areas would have to be separate but may be adjoining.
Under the producer/wholesaler licence, you may allow persons to BYO for on-premises consumption. Aside from corkage, you are not permitted to charge any fee in relation to BYO alcohol, because it would be deemed a sale of alcohol that is not authorised by the licence.
- Satellite cellar door
As a producer/wholesaler licensee, you may enter into an arrangement with a licensed Queensland wine producer to obtain a satellite cellar door (SCD) approval for your premises. This would allow the sale and consumption of the wine producer's wine on or off the premises in addition to the craft beer.
Under this arrangement, the wine producer is ultimately responsible for the sale and supply of their wine at the SCD. As the producer/wholesaler licence and SCD approval are issued under separate legislation, both licence approvals may be issued for the same premises.
- Commercial hotel licence
A commercial hotel licence would allow you to sell all types of alcohol for on- or off-premises consumption and also maintain the wholesaler aspect of the business. The business conducted under authority of a commercial hotel licence must have a commercial kitchen and at least 2 of the following facilities:
- a dining, restaurant, or bistro-style, facility
- self-contained accommodation of at least 3 rooms for letting to travellers
- a function room facility available for hire by members of the public.
A commercial hotel premises must also have seating for more than 60 patrons and adequate male and female toilet facilities.
For more information about licensing options or the application process, contact the Customer Support Team on 1300 072 322.
- Check if you need to lodge an annual return by 21 July.
- Read about other types of liquor and wine licences and liquor-related permits.
- Learn about compliance for liquor licensees.
- Find out about Queensland's food and beverage industry.
- Read the Liquor Act 1992.
- Last reviewed: 10 Mar 2021
- Last updated: 15 Nov 2022
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