Australian opposition leader and outspoken craft beer advocate Anthony Albanese has fired a broadside against fruit beer.
Live on Sydney radio station WSFM 101.7, Labor’s leader has promised a modern Australian take on the Reinheitsgebot: the banning of fruit in beer.
In a banter-rich transcript from the radio station’s breakfast show obtained by political journalist Katina Curtis, Mr Albanese doesn’t mince his words: ‘“If I am Prime Minister, I will ban fruit being put into beer”’.
Fortunately for enthusiasts of fruited beers, the show’s hosts Brendan ‘Jonesy’ Jones and Amanda Keller are known for their “laughs and early morning frivolity”.
However, the humorous comments underscore the importance the Labor leader (popularly known as ‘Albo’) places on the country’s craft beer industry, plus his relative fluency with Australia’s beer scene versus many other politicians.
In the political arena, Albo has championed changes to Australia’s excise tax regime for craft brewers and has advocated in the media to promote the local industry, arguing that “craft beer looms as an economic opportunity that we cannot afford to ignore.”
Considering the Opposition Leader’s centre-left Sydney constituency reportedly has one of the densest concentrations of breweries in the country, it is no wonder that he happily indulges in craft beer populism.
Albo’s range of support for craft beer spans from the lightweight (opening taprooms and having a beer named after him) to the more serious (promoting craft beer exports to Asia, amongst a range of other policy initiatives).
His advocacy has earned him semi-humorous honorific as the ‘member for craft beer’ from the Australian beverage magazine Beer & Brewer.
Whether or not Mr Albanese will remain as Labor’s leader for the coming election remains to be seen, with looming threats on the horizon from within his party.
Nevertheless, his advocacy for the craft beer industry sets an exciting precedent for politicians worldwide looking to grow domestic manufacturing and connect with a new wave of Pale Ale-swilling voters.