Black Hops Enter Voluntary Administration

March 28, 2024, by Will Ziebell

Black Hops Enter Voluntary Administration

Black Hops Brewing have entered voluntary administration, with the Queensland brewery appointing David Mansfield and Timothy Heenan from Deloitte Financial Advisory as joint administrators according to a filing with ASIC. 

In a post on social media, the brewery team said it was a tough decision but "circumstances have meant there was no alternative", adding that their beer would continue to be made and sold, and that their taprooms were remaining open (although the taproom in East Brisbane will be closed over the Easter break). 

"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," the post said.

Black Hops was founded by Eddie Oldfield, Michael McGovern and Dan Norris in 2014. They initially brewed without a home before opening the doors to their first Gold Coast taproom in 2016. In 2019, they expanded to a far larger production site in Biggera Waters before, in 2020, taking over Semi Pro Brewing in Brisbane and turning that into a Black Hops Brisbane. Today, the brewery employs approximately 70 staff and is one of Queensland's largest independent breweries. 

They've enjoyed plenty of awards success over the years too, including claiming the prestigious Champion Small Australian Brewery at the Australian International Beer Awards in 2018. And, while they've courted controversy in the past, they've also proven popular with drinkers: just last year, drinkers voted them Australia's best brewery for a second year running in the Beer Cartel Australian Craft Beer Survey.

The brewery has been one of Australian craft beer's most significant crowdfunders over the years too. They used a rewards-based model early on and equity crowdfunding on two separate occasions. In 2019, they raised $400,000 in just six days and in early 2022, they raised $2.2 million in less than 24 hours

Although the brewery was started by "3 mates on the Gold Coast”, Dan Norris left the business more than a year ago, with The Crafty Pint understanding Michael "Govs" McGovern is no longer involved with the day to day running of the brewery and is focused on his consulting business, Better Call Govs. 

This voluntary administration comes just a week after Akasha also started the same process; the Sydney-based brewery also raised substantial amounts through equity crowdfunding just last year. Earlier this month, Melbourne's Deeds also entered administration, also appointing Deloitte to oversee their restructuring.

In late January, we ran an article on the damage wrought upon the industry in the year since Ballistic Beer Co entered administration. Since then, Hawkers, Big Shed and Golden West have also appointed administrators, with other businesses announcing they are to close or are up for sale as tough time for the beer and hospo industries continue.

The full social media post from Black Hops is below. The Crafty Pint has reached out to Deloitte, who are handling communication for the brewery with David Mansfield providing this statement to The Crafty Pint.

"In these very early days, we are taking over management of the business and commencing a review of its financial position," David said. 

"For now, brewing and taphouse operations will continue to trade while we explore urgent sale options. The East Brisbane taphouse will be closed over the Easter break."

The three Black Hops founders: Michael McGovern, Eddie Oldfield and Dan Norris


To our loyal customers and supporters,

Today the BH board have made the tough decision to place the business into Voluntary Administration (VA). Trust us when we say it hasn't been an easy decision to make, however our circumstances have meant there was no alternative.

So, what happens from here? Our beer will still be made and sold through our direct outlets and our retail partners, and our taprooms will still be open and serving food. 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!

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.

To you, our supporters and loyal patrons, we thank you from the bottom of our beer glasses.

This article was updated shortly after being published to include further information from Deloitte. 

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