Akasha Go Into Voluntary Administration

March 21, 2024, by Will Ziebell

Akasha Go Into Voluntary Administration

Akasha Brewing have become the latest brewery to enter voluntary administration, with the Sydney-based operation appointing the professional services firm Vincents to oversee the business as they "restructure the operations of the company and to come to terms with creditors".

The news comes just a week after Deeds appointed Deloitte to oversee a restructuring of the business

In a media release, Akasha's founder and CEO Dave Padden said the brewery felt it was a necessary step due to the challenges the industry and wider economy have faced over the last year.

"Whilst we felt this step was necessary to ensure the future success of the brewery, it was a very difficult decision to make," Dave said in the media release. 

"If you’re a fan of our beers, we’d really appreciate your support during this time.”

Dave said there would be no impact on their beer production, distribution or the taproom in Five Docks, while "employees, suppliers and customers should consider it business as usual."

Akasha are well known for their hop-forward beers; prior to launching the business in 2015, Dave (pictured below) had already spent years in the beer industry at Riverside Brewing in Parramatta. Primarily, Akasha's home has been in the inner west Sydney suburb of Five Docks but, in recent years, they have substantially expanded the hospitality side of the business. 

In 2022, Akasha ran an equity crowdfunding campaign with Equitise which ultimately raised $1.73m. Central to that campaign was the intention to significantly overhaul their hospitality offering, with plans to open other venues in NSW and expand into other states. 

Since then, the brewery team has opened The Barrel Room by Akasha in the Sydney suburb of Leichhardt and, later in that same year, took over The Edwards in Newcastle. The appointment, however, does not involve those venues. 

Last year, Dave spoke to The Crafty Pint about how their move into hospitality was to give them greater control over the experience of the customers who tried their beers, while also spreading the risk within their business as the wholesale market became increasingly difficult for indie brewers. 

Over the past 18-plus months, many breweries have gone into administration, often due to issues related to legacy ATO debt, alongside declining consumer confidence and spiralling operating costs. It's something we explored just over a month ago, while the ABC recently covered how the ATO is chasing billions of dollars owed to them by small businesses, sometimes using aggressive enforcement action. 

Akasha's announcement comes as South Australia-based Big Shed Brewing emerge from administration with their founders still in control of the business

The full media regarding Akasha is available below. 

Media Release: Akasha Brewing Company Pty Ltd enters Voluntary Administration

On 20 March 2024, Henry McKenna of Vincents was appointed Voluntary Administrator of Akasha Brewing Company Pty Ltd (Akasha) by the company’s directors.  

The Administrator is continuing to trade the business as normal and will work closely with the directors of the business to restructure the operations of the company and to come to terms with creditors. Employees, suppliers and customers should consider it business as usual. There will be no impact to ongoing production, distribution and taproom operations as a result of this appointment.

The Administrator will be reporting regularly to creditors and will report the financial circumstances of the company to them during the Administration, which is a process estimated to last seven weeks.

The directors of Akasha have made the difficult decision to take this step to deal with financial losses the business has accrued in the face of declining consumer demand across the craft beer market combined with significant increases in production costs and excise tax. They are confident the financial restructuring will result in a stronger and more resilient business emerging from administration.

Founder and CEO, Dave Padden said, “Our entire team have worked hard building a highly successful and respected brewery over the last 9 years, however the past 12 months has been extremely challenging for our industry and the wider economy. Whilst we felt this step was necessary to ensure the future success of the brewery, it was a very difficult decision to make. If you’re a fan of our beers, we’d really appreciate your support during this time.” 

The appointment does not involve Akasha’s venues, The Barrel Room and The Edwards.

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