Big Shed Brewing administrators to keep pouring pints

It will be business as usual at Adelaide’s Big Shed Brewing, which has appointed administrators after struggling to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.

Feb 14, 2024, updated Feb 14, 2024
Big Shed Brewing co-founders Jason Harris and Craig Basford. Photo: John Krüger

Big Shed Brewing co-founders Jason Harris and Craig Basford. Photo: John Krüger

Mark Lieberenz and Anthony Phillips of restructuring firm Heard Phillips Lieberenz were appointed to the Royal Park microbrewery yesterday to restructure the company’s operations.

Founded in 2012, the craft brewery on Old Port Road has developed a reputation for off-kilter brews and unique collaborations with South Australian brands like FruChocs and Mitani Chicken Salt.

Big Shed co-founder Craig Basford said the business struggled to recover from the economic fallout of COVID-19.

“While no one ever wants to be in this situation, we know that it’s necessary for our staff and business,” he said.

“We invested heavily in our business expansion up to December 2019, only for the world to shut down in March 2020.

“It is fighting that ongoing battle that has us where we are today.”

Basford said that administrators would look to secure the “best possible outcome for our creditors”.

“We want them to see the light at the end of the tunnel as much as we do,” he said.

“What we need now more than ever is the support of our community of beer drinkers, those who want see Big Shed around for the long haul.”

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Administrators would continue to trade the as normal and said they were working with the craft brewery founders to restructure operations and “come to terms with creditors”.

“We are open for business and look forward to continue brewing the full range of Big Shed beers and welcoming customers at the Big Shed,” Lieberenz said.

“We are delighted to be working with a staff and management team who feel as passionate about their business as they are about their products.”

Big Shed moved to its new big shed at Royal Park in December 2019, just months before the COVID-19 pandemic wrought havoc on businesses, especially hospitality venues.

The Royal Park shed was built with a $50,000 Federal government grant and a $1 million state government loan. It hosts a 35-hectolitre, four-vessel set-up capable of brewing 12,000 litres over an eight-hour brew day.

Big Shed’s appointment of administrators comes just days after Hawkers Beer – a craft brewery based in Melbourne – also entered into voluntary administration.

Hawkers said it decided to “deal with financial losses the business has accrued in the face of increased restrictions on market access combined with significant increases in production and distribution costs”.

The Victorian beer brand’s founder and managing director Mazen Hajjar also blamed the post-pandemic environment for the business’ woes.

“Post-Covid has been a challenging period with bigger players increasingly restricting access to taps and shelf space, combined with broader economic pressures, including increased input costs and taxes,” Hajjar said.

“However, we are confident that the restructuring will ensure the business is in a stronger position to fight these challenges going forward.”

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