The Beer Thread

Coopers is still family/Australian owned I believe.



Reading on Ale Of A Time on Facebook just now about a beer festival scam. Something called Unlimited Beer Festival that is trying to sell tickets for a fest in Melbourne in August that doesn’t exist, claiming breweries are involved that know nothing about it. If you hear of anyone talking about it, tell them not to buy tickets.


Just come in here to discuss Deeds Brewing and this is the first post I saw when I opened the chat. Sad times in the Australian Brewing industry. RIP :disappointed_relieved:



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Gotta admit…at least had an attention grabbing name.

Edit: oh. It’s also at a ‘secret location’ :clown_face:

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A gem if you can get it…


Yeah I think the name wouldn’t pass the test, you can’t advertise unlimited alcohol I’d guess.

Apparently the people have form running dodgy events in pop-up locations then not delivering on the promise. Not sure how they’re escaping the law.

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“unsecured creditors to Black Hops Brewing are owed $4.127 million, the bulk of which is for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in the form of $3.2 million in alcohol excise duty and BAS payments.

Remaining unsecured creditors are owed just over $1 million, while the company’s employees are owed $387,871 in entitlements.”

This really sux, a tax system that is killing so many businesses must have something wrong with it, even if operators took too much risk

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The imbalance in the excise system is that wine largely gets a free kick. The way alcohol excise should be applied is based on std drinks rather than ABV for spirits, pack size for beer and wholesale price for wine. This is the way you’re judged by a breathalyser for example. You don’t pay a different fine for drinking wine or beer or spirits, you just pay the fine based on how over the limit you are.

But it’s important to acknowledge that tax is applied equally where you compare products within a category regardless of where the business is based. If a small local brewery puts a 6% stout in a 375ml can they pay exactly the same excise as a massive multinational owned brewery making a 6% stout in a 375ml can.

Our excise rate is extremely high, but it’s applied unilaterally. In the case of spirits, where imports make up a significant challenge for local producers, the imports still pay customs duties at the rate of excise, so everyone still pays the same rate.


And the tax is only a part of the problem here right @Strewth?..

I think there is a common thread to both Deeds’ and Black Hops’ stories of woe, and it also revolves around over capitalisation based on inflated but not sustainable demand.

Black Hops went hard on expansion into multiple venues and production capacity.

Deeds had a very ambitious vision for their venue. It would’ve cost a fortune to build, is in a ■■■■ location, is too big, and timed at exactly the wrong time with approval (which was costly as well) came right at the onset of the pandemic and opening occurred in it’s second year.

Dainton had a similar issue, over capitalising on a second venue and expanded production capacity. But evidently their debt position wasn’t quite so bad, perhaps in part due to crowd funding covering part of the expansion.

And inevitably, when people have less money to spend, they’re gonna cut back on luxury items like 440ml cans of 9% double hazy IPA that are now even more expensive than previously.

Akasha are still currently under administration, without knowing their financials I would imagine their prospects to survive are better because they’re still a pretty low key operation out of a small industrial lot in inner western Sydney and haven’t over capitalised into multiple venues or dramatically increased production capacity.


It’s been a big issue in the US, and I hear industry people on podcasts saying that the idea of always having to grow and expand the business into numerous states has been a failing of many breweries. Now there’s somewhat a switch of mindset to hyper local, and reaching a point were a brewery isn’t looking to take on loads of debt through more venues and extra capacity, but content with running a smaller profitable business. And they don’t even carry the same tax issue.



COVID gave a number of breweries a bit of over confidence in sales. The trend has been declining beer sales since the 70’s but lockdowns caused a temporary uptick that some breweries gambled on being permanent. What has happened post lockdowns is that the decline of the category has sped up and it may stay in its current accelerated decline and it may come back to that predictable decline, no one knows.

Deeds also went in big on distilling. There was a cautionary case that they paid little to no attention to in Hop nation. Hop nation sought to add spirits to their portfolio and bought the kit and hired a good distiller. They then made 30,000L of gin. They realised the error in making such a huge volume of product, fired the distiller and put essentially no money into marketing their new spirit brand Dart. So they’re sitting on a huge excise debt (although it’s a liability it doesn’t become due until the product is sold) in the form of all that spirit and who knows when or how it gets off their books.

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Growth for growth sake has been an issue for a while. To be honest general business acumen has always been an issue. There’s certainly people who can make good beer out there in numbers, but not many that can manage a brewery business.

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Yeah I’ve seen a few posts more recently for Deeds distilling offshoot, “Future Proof”.

The sad irony of the name isn’t lost on me.

Their web store has been smashed, most of the stock already gone.

And while some of the medium sized independents are going under owing to the strain of debt laden over-expansion… Moon Dog can’t get big enough…

Moondog’s latest venture “Doglands” is only a couple of months away from opening at Marvel Stadium.

I’ve yet to get to Marvel this season, but it’s nice to know that there’ll be few half decent beer options there when I do, with Balter and Pirate Life already having bars on Level 1.


They were also building a large holding of whisky by offering to brew wash for distilleries for free before they got their still. The trade off was that they would brew twice the volume of wash and then get the distillery involved in each case to distill the excess as new make whisky for them to age in house.

As expected Akasha have survived VA.

Korben Dallas saved the day again.

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Just a sneaky little 9 percenter to kick off the game.