Southern Bay Brewing placed in liquidation
Southern Bay Brewing in Geelong has been put into liquidation.
According to an insolvency notice issued to ASIC, Southern Bay Brewing Co Pty Ltd, operating as Southern Bay Brewing, yesterday appointed the liquidators of Pitch Partners Advisory.
In the minutes of a meeting of creditors posted on the ASIC website, a general meeting was called in the presence of the “sole member” of Southern Bay Brewing Co. Nick Warming, who owns 100% of the shares of the company.
It was decided that due to its liabilities and concerns about the solvency of the business which required immediate resolution, the business could not continue its operations and it was appropriate to wind up the brewery.
Update: Pitch Partners liquidator Michael Basedow has been in contact with Brews News, saying the liquidation is still in its early stages, but issues with Southern Bay have been going on for several years.
“Some things got him to a tipping point,” he explained. “The turnover has fallen sharply in recent years. A lot of things are related to COVID and it’s a competitive market and this particular brewery has an aging plant that needs an upgrade, and obviously needed funds to update it.
“The last straw was that the main brewer had recently moved, which brought him to a critical point. I think there were a few options when it comes to replacing the brewer, but with all the other factors at play that have been postponed until the decision is made.
Southern Bay recently lost its head brewer and made an announcement for an experienced brewery manager or head brewer to lead its brewing operations in August.
“As far as a sale goes, we’re putting information together to see what options there are and there are a few parts in play there, so we’re just working on that.”
The last post on the brewery’s Facebook page was on July 1, when it said the brewery was closed to the public during construction.
In November 2020, Southern Bay also worked with Worksafe Victoria, the state’s workplace safety regulator. The organization said Brewery news then that she “made inquiries” with the brewery.
This was not the first time Southern Bay had encountered problems. In 2019, the brewery was at the center of controversy over an offensive social media post that featured a meme, having previously faced an ABAC panel over another social media blunder.
The backlash led to the resignation of then-CEO Nick Warming from the company, but he remained the majority owner of the company.
Southern Bay was part of the first wave of craft brewers in Australia and has been in business for 30 years, having been marketed as the Geelong Brewing Company. He states on his website that he is “still proudly independent and family-owned,” and in recent years he has focused on contract brewing.