CITY BEAT

The Courier-Mail - - BUSINESS - an­thony. marx@news.com.au WITH AN­THONY MARX @An­tho­nyMarxCM

TRUE BREW

HOW times have changed.

Queens­land only had about eight or nine craft brew­eries back in 2010.

These days, the de­mand for high-qual­ity al­ter­na­tive beers is so great that we’re see­ing a new brew­ery open in the state about every four weeks.

There are now about 70 churn­ing out a huge va­ri­ety of the drinks across Queens­land and try­ing to keep track of them all has proved a bit daunt­ing. En­ter Mark Midro (il­lus­trated), who will be launch­ing the in­au­gu­ral edi­tion of The Craft Beer

Guide to Queens­land in Bris­bane to­mor­row night to help kick off Queens­land Beer Week.

“It’s pretty pro­found what’s hap­pen­ing,’’ Midro told City Beat yes­ter­day.

“Our vi­sion was to make a con­sumer-based prod­uct. It’s not de­signed for the beer nerd, not a tech­ni­cal pub­li­ca­tion.

“It’s about the ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s meant to be a pub­li­ca­tion for your Dad, who’s been drink­ing XXXX his whole life.’’

Midro, who runs Bar­rel Me­dia, will be flog­ging copies at the Woolly Mam­moth bar in the Val­ley, where just over 60 of the spe­cial­ity brews will be on tap to launch Queens­land Beer Week.

The fes­ti­val, which runs through to the 25th, will see par­tic­i­pat­ing brew­eries host­ing events on site, with many fea­tur­ing bands and food trucks.

Midro ob­vi­ously has a soft spot for the coldies. He pre­vi­ously or­gan­ised the Stones Cor­ner Fes­ti­val for ALH and once worked on a beer lover’s guide to Aus­tralia.

Craft beer guides for New South Wales and Vic­to­ria are set to roll out next year, help­ing devo­tees keep a han­dle on the coun­try’s 500-plus spe­cialty brew­ers. SHELL GAME IT LOOKS like the fi­nan­cial shell game con­tin­ues in­side CuDeco. The strug­gling Bris­bane- based cop­per hunter re­vealed this week that it had se­cured a $HK100 mil­lion loan from a lender in Hong Kong. The fully-drawn fa­cil­ity was used to set­tle a $HK40 mil­lion short-term loan that was set to fall due in Jan­uary. An­other $HK80 mil­lion debt has also been re­paid. CuDeco noted that it was in talks to se­cure a longert­erm fi­nanc­ing plan. But it made that same point back in July, when it also ac­knowl­edged us­ing loans to re­pay other bor­row­ings. Why would lenders think twice about ex­tend­ing credit? Per­haps it might have some­thing to do with the CuDeco’s eye­wa­ter­ing $135.5 mil­lion net loss last year. That fol­lowed a $127.1 mil­lion net loss in 2016 and $131.4 mil­lion of red ink in 2015.

OVER THE LINE

RICHARD MALOUF has got the deal to sell his phar­macy chain over the line and it will be fi­nalised early next month.

Reg­u­la­tors have signed off the sale, which will see Ram­say Health Care ab­sorb all 18 of the Malouf Group out­lets in to its ex­ist­ing pool of more than 200 phar­ma­cies.

Malouf launched his first chemist shop in the Bris­bane CBD in 1962 and it grew to be­come one of the state’s big­gest pri­vately-owned phar­macy chains, turn­ing over about $100 mil­lion a year.

Malouf said yes­ter­day that he was “de­lighted’’ his baby would join Ram­say, which is Aus­tralia’s big­gest pri­vate hos­pi­tal op­er­a­tor.

“Ram­say Health Care is a great or­gan­i­sa­tion with a sim­i­lar vi­sion and cul­ture to our or­gan­i­sa­tion,’’ he said.

“We are con­fi­dent that our phar­ma­cies will be in good hands for the long term.’’

BRAVE NEW WORLD

YOU might call it a brave new world out in the bush.

There’s talk of ver­ti­cal farms, driver­less trac­tors and drones to keep tabs on live­stock.

The fu­ture of agri­cul­ture in Aus­tralia will come un­der the mi­cro­scope tonight when more than 100 young agribusi­ness lead­ers con­verge on Bris­bane.

They’ll be gath­er­ing in the law of­fices of McCul­lough Robert­son, which started out as pas­toral prac­tice in 1926 and has re­tained that spe­cial­ity.

Among those gaz­ing into the crys­tal ball at the event will be QIC’s Taryn Hock­ing, StockCo top gun Tim Pryor and Mor­gans eq­ui­ties chief Tony Den­nis.

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