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Popular brewery enters administration with 70 jobs at risk: ‘No alternative’

The Gold Coast brewing company will continue making and selling beer during the administration, and taprooms will stay open.

An award-winning Gold Coast brewing company has gone into voluntary administration, leaving up to 70 jobs at risk.

Black Hops Brewing confirmed the “tough decision” to customers and investors after tax debts left it unable to continue.

The popular beer is stocked in bottle shops and bars across the country and produces more than a million litres of craft beer annually.

Black Hops Brewing beer. Jobs at risk.
Popular brewery Black Hops Brewing has made the “tough decision” to enter voluntary administration, leaving up to 70 jobs at risk. (Source: Black Hops Brewing)

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It has three locations in Queensland, their original brewery and taproom in Burleigh, their production brewery and taproom in Biggera Waters, and a pilot brewery and taproom in East Brisbane.

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“Trust us when we say it hasn’t been an easy decision to make,” the company told customers on social media. “However, our circumstances have meant there was no alternative.”

Black Hops said it would continue making and selling beer through its direct outlets and retail partners, and that its tap rooms would remain open, during the voluntary administration.

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“So please get around us at this point in time and support our taprooms and retail sales, we want you to be a part of this journey!” it said.

“We will be working towards successfully getting through to the other side of this restructure with a stronger business that ultimately keeps Black Hops serving our epic beers and keeps all our amazing staff on board.”

David Mansfield and Tim Heenan of Deloitte are the appointed administrators and are exploring sale options.

Black Hops brewery
Black Hops has three locations in Queensland and is sold in bottle shops and bars across the country. (Source: Maegan Brown/Black Hops Brewing)

Black Hops was established in 2015 by three mates, Dan Norris, Eddie Oldfield and brewer Michael “Govs” McGovern. After the success of their first beer, the Eggnog Stout, the trio began work on their own brewery on the Gold Coast.

In 2016, they successfully raised $17,000 via crowdfunding and opened their Burleigh Heads brewery and taproom that year.

In 2019, they expanded to their second brewery following an equity crowdfunding campaign where they raised $400,000 in six days from more than 500 investors.

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It is the latest Australian craft brewery to enter administration. Melbourne’s popular Deeds Brewing entered voluntary administration earlier in March, with 50 jobs at risk.

The industry is facing a range of challenges, including slowed consumer spending, increased prices for ingredients and transportation, and rising alcohol taxes.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has also shifted back to “business-as-usual” debt collection following the pandemic.