Deeds Brewing To Cease Operating

May 7, 2024, by Crafty Pint

Deeds Brewing To Cease Operating

Deeds Brewing, along with the brewery's Glen Iris taproom and affiliated spirits brand Future Proof Distilling, are to cease operating. The decision to wind down the business follows the appointment of Deloitte as voluntary administrators in March.

The brewery made the announcement on social media, saying that since going into administration they had been searching for a buyer or investor to keep the business alive. 

"[U]nfortunately, this hasn’t come to fruition," the post reads. 

"Our hearts are broken. Since launching Deeds Brewing in 2012, our mission has always been about passion and people. We’ll deeply miss our dedicated staff, who have become like family to us, and our incredible fans who’ve stood by us through thick and thin throughout the years."

A spokesperson for Deloitte confirmed the news to The Crafty Pint, saying the administrators had been focused on preserving the business through a sale or a recapitalisation campaign.

"Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to achieve a viable sale transaction that would have seen the business continue as a going concern," the spokesperson said.

"As a result, they have now commenced an orderly wind-down of Deeds’ operations and production has ceased."

The spokesperson added they will report to Deeds' creditors and hold a second meeting of creditors in the coming weeks. 

In the short term, the brewery says they will continue to fulfil all orders to wholesale customers so they can deplete their stock, while anyone who has recently ordered from the brewery's online store needn't worry about their order being fulfilled. They added that they will be running a 30 percent discount off orders made online through their Glen Iris taproom, which will operate as a bottleshop for the time being. 

It's a sad end for the brewery, which started out as Quiet Deeds, and their staff who just 12 months ago were celebrating a triumphant night at the Australian International Beer Awards, where they picked up Best Specialty Flavoured Beer for their BBA Peanut Butter Imperial Stout, Best Specialty Beer for Ruminations, plus Champion Victorian Brewery and Champion Medium Australian Brewery. Just 11 days ago, one of their brewers took part in the collab brew featuring the 2023 champions that will debut at next week's AIBA Trophy Presentation Night at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

Upon entering voluntary administration in March, co-founder Patrick Alé told The Crafty Pint that major factors in their decision at the time were debt to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) accrued during COVID, for which they'd been unable to agree a payment plan, and the rejection of an insurance claim related to "a significant amount of beer" brewed with "contaminated malt which impacted the flavour of their beer".

 

Deeds' founders and longterm mates, Dave Milstein and Pat Alé toasting the the opening of their taproom in 2021.

 

Deeds are one of more than a dozen local brewing companies to enter voluntary administration over the past 18 months. In the majority of cases, the owners have agreed a DOCA (Deed of Company Arrangement) that has allowed them to continue at the helm following a restructuring of finances, typically including a payment to creditors of around ten cents on the dollar. In others, new owners – or a combination of existing and new owners – have brought the businesses out of administration.

Three other brewing companies to enter administration within a fortnight of Deeds – Sydney-based Akasha, Gold Coast-based Black Hops, and Victoria's oldest independent operation, Grand Ridge – remain under the control of administrators. Grand Ridge owner Eric Walters has stated their intention to sell the business.

With a number of other businesses closing or changing hands, including the acquisition of both Jetty Road and Mismatch Brewing from Mighty Crafty by a group led by the former CUB CEO Peter Filipovic in the past six months, at the same time as others enter the market or open new venues, it represents a most turbulent period for the local beer industry. A similar picture can be found elsewhere, most notably in the UK where the rate of closures, sales and administrations outpaces that of Australia.

The situation, which we've examined in a series of articles, has put a greater focus on issues that have long been raised by the country's smaller brewers, including excise tax and market access, the latter of which has been intensified in recent years by the rise of homebrand craft beers from the country's two major retailers and the growing dominance of major pub groups.

The ongoing troubles faced by many are sure to be topics of discussion when the industry gathers in Melbourne next week as the Australian International Beer Awards Trophy Presentation Night takes place during the 2024 Pint of Origin festival. 

The Crafty Pint has reached out to the Deeds team but we've not heard back.

The full announcement is below.


Statement By Deeds Brewing

We have a very sad announcement for you all. We have made the difficult decision to wind up our business. Over the last 12 years, we’ve poured our hearts into every brew, every interaction, and every moment shared with you. Since going into Voluntary Administration 8 weeks ago, we have been searching for a buyer or investor, hoping to keep the spirit of Deeds Brewing alive, but unfortunately, this hasn’t come to fruition. Our hearts are broken. Since launching Deeds Brewing in 2012, our mission has always been about passion and people. We’ll deeply miss our dedicated staff, who have become like family to us, and our incredible fans who’ve stood by us through thick and thin throughout the years. We want to thank you for all the love and support you have shown us. In these tough times for businesses and individuals alike, we extend our best wishes to everyone in the industry. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to support local businesses.

To our wholesale customers, we will be supplying you during this period as we deplete our inventory, so please reach out to your designated rep or give us a call.

To our Deeds community, any orders that have been placed via our online store will be fulfilled, no need to worry if you have ordered in the last few days. Orders placed can also still be picked up from our Deeds Taproom Cellar Door.

We will be running a 30% discount off everything both online and through our Deeds Taproom on all our beers in the coming days. This will be your last chance to stock up on our beers and raise a final glass to Deeds Brewing.

Love from all of us at Deeds. ?


This article was updated on 08/05/24 to add comments and further details from Deloitte. 

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