12 November 2021

Australian craft brewer with thirty-year history in liquidation

Australia | As the pandemic and lockdowns take their toll, Southern Bay Brewing has collapsed into liquidation. Southern Bay, which was among the first wave of craft brewers in Australia, has been operating from the regional city of Geelong, 70 km south of Melbourne, for some 30 years. It was previously known as Geelong Brewing Company.

According to the website brewsnews.com.au, the business is solely owned by Nick Warming, who was the company’s CEO until 2019.

The business made a range of beers, including a lager, XPA and IPA, as well as seasonal and limited releases. It also brewed for others under contract.

Covid tipped it over the edge

But the covid pandemic, including several extended lockdowns in Melbourne, compounded existing challenges at the firm. “The reasons given by the directors for the appointment [of a liquidator] include the significant downturn in sales as a result of covid-19, the recent loss of key employees, including the head brewer, and the significant unfunded costs to upgrade the ageing plant,” the liquidator Michael Basedow told the website smartcompany.com.au on 28 October 2021.

Mr Basedow’s team is still collecting information about how many creditors the business has and how much they are owed.

The business had four employees when it entered into liquidation. However, Mr Basedow said three of those employees had resigned previously. The Southern Bay online store is not currently operating.

Melbourne has been under lockdown for more than 270 days since March 2020, making it a world record.

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