• Brewers Association CEO John Preston.
    Brewers Association CEO John Preston.

The Brewers Association of Australia has appointed John Preston as its new CEO. Preston will start in the role on 4 January 2021.

Brewers Association chair Peter Filipovic said Preston was selected after an extensive and competitive nationwide search.

Filipovic said: “On behalf of the board, we are thrilled to welcome John to lead the Brewers. He has a demonstrated track record of creating and communicating compelling visions and strategies.

“John is well known in the corridors of federal, state and territory parliaments and brings to the Brewers a wealth of experience in both politics and the private sector, including the drinks industry.

“He will have carriage of the regulatory agenda of Australia’s biggest alcohol category. Domestically brewed beer underpins $16 billion of economic activity, employs 100,000 people and is home to some of Australia’s most loved brands.

“Australian brewers make a substantial contribution to Australian jobs and the national economy, from manufacturing to our significant footprint in Australian agriculture, to transport, and to hotels, hospitality and retail.

“John will work closely with our industry partners, including the Australian Hotels Association, Clubs Australia, Alcohol Beverages Australia, and Retail Drinks Australia, as well as the broader drinks industry.”

Preston has been

Most recently Preston was the general manager corporate affairs at AusNet Services. He has held senior roles at BHP and Pernod Ricard as well as worked in various senior political roles across federal and state government.

Preston said, “I am extremely grateful and absolutely delighted to have been given this opportunity to help support the continued success of the Australian brewing industry.

“I particularly look forward to joining the Brewers at a time when it is so critical that we do all we can to support hospitality and all our other partners. Getting the tax and policy settings right for the brewing industry will help all our partners and provide a stimulus effect for the broader hospitality industry.

“The hugely positive trends in responsible consumption we have seen over recent years clearly means that it makes sense now to ease the cost of living pressure on Australian drinkers by reducing the beer tax – currently the 4th highest in the developed world.

“Having worked in the alcohol beverage sector before in Australia I know it is full of passionate, committed and convivial people. I look forward to reconnecting with many of my former colleagues in this sector and working with everyone who has made it such a success.”

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