Dainton Beer have today become the latest brewing company to file for voluntary administration, citing the need to restructure debts in order to continue operating as a profitable business.
In a media release, the owners said they had "taken this step to deal with financial losses the business has accrued from ill-timed expansion in the face of declining consumer demand."
Co-owner Dan Dainton told The Crafty Pint the Carrum Downs-based brewery had been operating at a loss over the past year after investing heavily in upgrades and expansion at their brewery, and taking on a second venue in Croydon when they acquired the former home of The Public Brewery.
"As much as we've tried and we've tried, and people on the team have done a great job, sales were going backwards," Dan says, adding that they had explored a number of different options for the business before deciding to file for voluntary administration.
He says they had already taken steps to return to the business to being profitable, which has included a significant reduction in staff. And they're pulling out of all interstate markets except for New South Wales to focus on their two brewpubs and their local market in Victoria.
They're working through the administration process with DBA Advisory, the same business used by Bad Shepherd in recent months. DBA Advisory director Richard Abraham says they're aiming to call a second creditors' meeting in mid-December by which time they hope to have put together a DOCA proposal that will allow the current owners to continue running the business and retain all current employees.
In the meantime, Dan says: "As much as possible, it's business as usual: no change to production or the hospitality operations. Everyone will just keep doing what they're doing."
Dan first launched the business as Dainton Family Brewing just over a decade ago, initially brewing at Cavalier Brewing in Derrimut before he and dad Kev secured a site in Carrum Downs where they installed a 30-hectolitre brewery and opened a taphouse in 2016.
They've enjoyed acclaim from drinkers for their often high ABV, highly-hopped, and wildly-adorned releases – at one stage they were putting out new beers pretty much every week – while picking up major awards, including two Champion Beer trophies in three years at the Indies and Champion Large Brewery at the same awards in 2020.
Dainton have also crowdfunded on two occasions, the first in 2019, the second in 2022, which saw them raise close to a million dollars.
Dan acknowledged this meant they had close to 1,000 shareholders from the crowdfunding process, and said that by going down this route – if their DOCA proposal was successful – these shareholders would retain ownership in the restructured business.
"Our forecasts and figures were showing very well when the crowdfund came around," Dan says, "but things have got a lot worse."
He says they've stripped back the business to "something we can manage – away from growth to profitability" following "a tough 18 months", adding: "But we're not closing the doors. Our plan is to build it back up."
Media Release: Dainton Beer enters voluntary administration to facilitate a financial restructuring of the business
Daicom Australia Pty Ltd trading as “Dainton Beer” (Dainton), has announced their decision to appoint an administrator to help facilitate a financial restructuring of the business. Dainton operates a craft brewery and taphouse in Carrum Downs and a second taphouse in Croydon.
DBA Advisory as Administrator is supporting the continued operation of the business, so Dainton’s employees and customers should consider it business as usual. There will be no impact to ongoing production and hospitality operations as a result of this appointment.
Dainton’s directors have taken this step to deal with financial losses the business has accrued from ill-timed expansion in the face of declining consumer demand. The directors are working with the Administrator on a Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA) proposal, which will provide a framework for the restructuring of the business. They are confident the financial restructuring will result in a stronger and more resilient business emerging from administration.
Dan Dainton, Founder and CEO, said “The last year or so has been an extremely challenging period across our industry and for the wider economy. However, we remain positive that we will see better times ahead and that this necessary process is an opportunity to reset so we can strive forward.”
Dainton remains committed to maintaining a high standard of service and open communication with all stakeholders during this restructuring process.