The former CEO of CUB, Peter Filipovic, is leading a group of publicans that has bought Jetty Road from Mighty Craft.
Peter, better known in the industry as Flip, says at first he wasn’t sure about rejoining the brewing world after only leaving CUB last year but overcame his reservations once he started looking into the business.
“I did some research on the brand, spoke to a few people, one idea led to another, and we ended up getting a group of people to buy it,” he told The Crafty Pint.
Flip spent close to 25 years at CUB, where he was CEO from 2019 until 2022. The new ownership group, Jetty Road Publicans, also includes some rugby players, comedian Mick Molloy*, and Richard Ludbrook, who runs the Riverland Group, which operates six Melbourne venues.
The new operation has venues across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, which they will utilise to build the beer brand's presence.
First and foremost, however, the plan is to focus on Jetty Road’s Mornington Peninsula home; the Dromana brewpub is a popular venue, while Jetty Road's beers have picked up multiple medals at recent national awards.
“We’re going to spend a bit of money on the venue and make it even more relevant as being the home of this brand,” Flip says.
“I see it as being as being the beer of the Peninsula. We're looking to grow the brand, but first things first: you need to be relevant in your hometown.”
The Mornington Peninsula brewery was the first business to take investment from Mighty Craft, back when the "proud craft drinks accelerator" was still called Founders First and before it was listed on the stock exchange.
In recent years, Jetty Road announced plans to open a substantial brewpub in South Melbourne in 2019, although these were later dropped in favour of opening a taproom in Lorne which has since closed. In July this year, Mighty Craft announced it had entered into an agreement to sell Jetty Road and had plans to sell its stake in Newcastle’s FogHorn too.
Blake Bowden and Grant Rodgers, two of the founders who steered Jetty Road in its early years, are involved in the brewery’s revival. The lifelong friends, who left the business in 2021, told The Crafty Pint they will be involved at a consultancy and brand ambassadorial level.
“We are there to help the team bring Jetty Road back to life a little bit,” Blake says.
Having worked in beer for decades, Flip remains bullish about the industry's future despite the current economic circumstances.
“I think beer's always been a good market to be in if you produce a good beer and make it relevant to consumers," he says. "Whatever that might look like."
Mighty Craft declined to comment further on the sale.
*Mick Molloy has also been involved in Brick Lane Brewing since its launch and remains a co-owner of that independent brewery.
We've updated our Who Owns Your Beer? infographic in light of recent changes in the local beer industry.