Australia’s small and independent brewers have voted in favour of removing large brewers from the membership of their trade body and renaming it the Independent Brewers Association.

Under new rules for what was the Craft Beer Industry Association, membership will be prohibited for brewers that are more than 20 per cent owned by large brewers or other businesses that have significant brewery holdings in Australia or overseas.

Previously, the association had allowed membership by companies such as Little Creatures, Malt Shovel and Mountain Goat, all of which are 100 per cent owned by global brewing concerns.

“This is a great day for our association and for small, independent breweries in Australia,” Independent Brewers Association chair Peta Fielding said.

“There are now more than 400 small, independent brewing businesses, up from just 200 when the association began five years ago.

"The industry directly employs more than 2100 people and generates an estimated $655 million in economic output.”

“Our members face challenges in their businesses with issues such as taxation, market access and licencing that don’t align with those of larger global organisations.

“These changes allow us to narrow our focus on addressing the needs of the businesses that need it most.”