Aus clamp down on alcopops made like beer

24 November, 2008
The Australian Federal government plans to clamp down on lower tax alcopops that are made like beer - 'malternatives'.
 

The Australian Federal government plans to clamp down on lower tax alcopops that are made like beer - 'malternatives'.

The treasury and the tax office have called for a tighter definition of beer to stop drinks producers avoiding higher tax on malternatives.

Beer is described for tax purposes as any brewed beverage that is the product of the yeast fermentation of a water-based extract of malted or unmalted cereals, contains hops or other bitters and contains no alcohol from other sources.

Currently, this definition doesn’t stop drinks producers from using the beer method, eradicating beer characteristics, and then adding sugar and flavouring. The current loophole means producers pay an excise rate of $40.46 per litre of alcohol – compared to $68.4 per litre.

But a tighter definition of beer could make problems for brewers – especially ones making flavoured beers.

The call came as the Federal Government announced a major advertising blitz to tackle binge drinking, to coincide with the launch of Schoolies Week – a week-long holiday following final exams for school leavers.





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