Beer Bartering Down Under

As a brewery, we obviously like beer. However, we spotted an Australian story today that seems to suggest that the good folk down under like it so much they use it instead of money. This beer economy has become a bit of a phenomenon, with Facebook groups trading goods and services for booze. Think of it as an extension of buying a drink for your mate as a thank you.

Great idea you think? Well so did we, until we looked into it further, as sadly, the originating Perth Beer Economy Facebook group; which has more than 57,000 members trading, for example, a six-pack for say an electric fan, has been under government scrutiny lately, with Western Australian authorities deeming the practice “illegal.”

beermapoaustBut what about the rest of the beer loving population down under?

Put down the pint everyone, it’s not good news. It appears also that for everyone else tthings are equally as depressing – It’s kind of illegal, everywhere, with State Boards across the whole country confirming the practice of trading alcohol for goods and services is against the law, with fines in the thousands of dollars and imprisonment as possible punishment. It turns out that arrangements such as the beer economy that seek to establish online transactions in which goods or services are exchanged for alcohol are required to be licensed in the same way any booze retailer is.

Shame, as an economy based entirely on beer has rather a large appeal to us! However, just picture telling your cellmate that you’re in the slammer for trading your old games console for a case of Victoria Bitter. Can’t see many jail-points in that one…