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Good Beer Week merges with Independent Brewers Association

Good Beer Week merges with Independent Brewers Association

Melbourne’s Good Beer Week (GBW) has announced it is merging with the Independent Brewers Association (IBA).

The merger extends the reach of the IBA into trade and consumer markets, supports the growth of GBW into its ninth year and brings complementary teams together.

As part of the merger, GBW Chair Kate Paterson will become the IBA’s Head of Industry Relations and GBW General Manager Siobhan Kerin will take on the role of Head of Events for the IBA, both based at the GBW offices in Melbourne.

The merger gives the IBA a presence in the two largest Australian markets, Victoria and NSW, where almost 60% of the IBA’s Members are based, along with 75% of the IBA’s Associate Members.

Following the launch of the IBA’s Independence Seal in May 2018, the IBA Board resolved to expand the IBA’s strategic focus into trade and consumer markets. Over 10 days each May, GBW offers 300 diverse events in venues across Melbourne and Victoria, attracting 75,000 attendees from Australia and internationally.

“As Australia’s premier Beer Week, GBW has an unparalleled reputation with venues and beer lovers, evolving into a global festival in just eight years,” said IBA Chair Ben Kooyman.

“Kate Paterson and Siobhan Kerin are accomplished operators who, with the backing and support of the GBW Board, have achieved great success. They are rightly held in high esteem by our sector and we welcome them to the IBA.”

Both Paterson and Kerin have extensive experience with the Australian International Beer Awards, in addition to other major wine and food awards. This expansion of the IBA’s member support team will be key to developing BrewCon, the IBA’s annual Conference and Trade Expo, and the IBA’s annual beer competition, the Indies, into events of regional significance.

According to the IBA, the merger offers GBW the support of a wider team environment, the chance to deepen its relationships with the independent brewing sector and to develop new ways of showcasing innovation and excellence in Australian beer culture.

Paterson will have a wider Industry Relations role at the IBA, working closely with IBA Members and Associate Members to develop the industry as it undergoes a period of profound growth. Kerin also brings a deep understanding of venue management from her time at Federation Square’s Beer DeLuxe, boosting the IBA’s on-premise trade relations. They will report to IBA CEO, Alexis Roitman and will commence their new roles in December.

Paterson said: “Good Beer Week has grown into a globally recognised celebration of craft beer through the passion and determination of our small team and the amazing people who make up Australia’s craft beer industry.

“Our philosophy, and that of the IBA, is to support the growth, creativity and passion of those who work so hard to bring great beer to market in Australia. This merger will help Good Beer Week to fully realise its vision, as well as building a new IBA team with the skills and knowhow to deliver on these principles across Australia."

With the GBW 2019 program currently being put in place, partners and sponsors will continue to work with GBW as usual. The new IBA team will collaborate on plans for BrewCon and the Indies, which will be held in Melbourne in August 2019.