Storm in a wine glass
You might call it a storm in a wine glass.
A bit of tension has flared up among the members of the Queensland Wine Press Club, which has operated for more than 40 years and runs monthly tasting dinners.
At a recent committee meeting of the Brisbane-based group, the seven members agreed to shell out $330 a year in perpetuity to become a "bronze sponsor'' of a wine show which has traditionally been a part of the larger annual Boonah Show.
But the rest of the club members were only made aware of the fait accompli when they received the meeting minutes.
It included just a brief mention of the financial aid following a request for assistance from the folks in Boonah, who are aiming to resurrect the show next May after COVID forced the scrapping of this year's gathering.
Left unmentioned in the correspondence was the fact that club president Mike Frost (illustrated) has served as the chief judge at the Boonah wine event for many years.
Also absent was any disclosure that one of the key organisers of the Boonah Show is a woman who just happens to be Frost's cousin.
It was she who formally wrote to the club seeking financial assistance after a longtime sponsor, the Scenic Rim Wine Growers Association, ceased operating.
This apparent lack of transparency about Frost's ties to the show has left several members fuming, especially since the club is not exactly swimming in cash.
"Of all the 127 needy show societies in Queensland, why would a big-city wine club bail out an obscure wine show in downtown Boonah, population 2,484?" one of them asked.
"This sponsorship does nothing for the club."
Frost was unapologetic and defended the decision when City Beat rang for a chat.
"I just laughingly suggested to my cousin that she should approach the Wine Press Club. It seemed like a good idea to me,'' he said.
Frost blamed a single "troublemaker'' in the club for creating a fuss for no good reason and noted that the committee was made fully aware of his ties to the Boonah event before unanimously endorsing the sponsorship.
Yet he said he didn't know why there was not full disclosure to all members about what he called assistance for "a worthy cause''.
"It's helping to promote the Queensland wine industry and to make the Queensland wine industry better. So that's what we want to do,'' Frost said.
EQUITY FOR PUNKS
Brisbane-based craft beer maker BrewDog hopes to raise up to $10m as part of a crowd-funding initiative launched on Tuesday.
The so-called "Equity for Punks Tomorrow'' campaign aims to help sustainably grow the business across Australia and NZ, with new bars in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth planned by the end of next year.
Investments start from just $100 and come with some pretty nifty perks, such as free beer on your birthday, bar discounts and invites to "beatnik brew days''.
More than 150,000 investors around the world already have a stake in the company, which was founded in Scotland in 2007 and opened its first Australian brewery in Brisbane late last year.
Originally published as Storm in a wine glass