The amount of beer consumed in Australia has roughly halved since the 1980s.
As a former chippy from Queanbeyan who doesn't mind a cold beer, this statistic took me by surprise.
But as a businessman I think that people haven't necessarily gone off beer, they are just more considered in what they drink.
That is where the independent brewer comes in.
Two-thirds of independent brewers in NSW are located in regional and rural areas.
During a time of unprecedented drought it is amazing to see an industry growing that is able to provide a stimulus to regional economies as well as showcase the innovative and high quality products regional NSW is famous for.
Independent brewers employ around 3,300 people across the state and among those we have some richly talented, entrepreneurial and innovative beer makers.
They produce a premium product and we need to support them to succeed domestically as well as crack international markets.
For generations people had a beer of choice that they would stay faithful to and defend to the death but people are more discerning about their food and beverages these days.
When I was younger I remember walking into a pub and there would be two, three, maybe four beers on tap but now, it is not uncommon to hear of pubs boasting over 50 different types of beers on tap, many with an emphasis on supporting local independent brewers.
It is an exciting time for the trade and export industry in NSW and this is no different for our independent brewers.
To support the brewing scene in this state, the NSW government has developed the Independent Brewers Action Plan to help indie brewers reach their potential.
The action plan will facilitate the development of food, wine and ale trail experiences as well as market export ready tourism experiences.
The focus to grow the industry both locally and abroad will see around 3,000 new jobs created, largely in regional NSW.
I want to see NSW positioned as an Asia-Pacific centre of excellence for craft beer and this action plan is a massive step to making that goal an ice-cold, refreshing reality.
This state, especially regional NSW, has just experienced an incredibly traumatic summer of bushfires, not to mention the horrific drought which began long before that, and it is important to get behind our industries, more than ever before.
So in the interest of boosting our local economies and giving small businesses the support they need, crack open a cold one. Because we all bloody need one.