Lord Nelson Brewery withdrawn from sale

Almost one year after being listed for sale, the owners of the Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel have taken the venue off the market.

The announcement was made to the company’s Facebook page last week, stating it was “business as usual” as it reversed the initial decision to sell.

“The sails are being hoisted, the ship steered on a new course and the crew assembled,” the post read.

“We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal supporters, of whom there are many, and continue our commitment to crafting the 100% natural ales, and creating the kind of hospitality experience, we’ve become known for over the past 35 + years.”

The hotel was acquired by Blair Hayden and business partners Robert Hill Smith and Michael Gilbert in 1986, before the brewery was put up for sale in November last year for the first time in 35 years.

At that time, Hayden stated a driving factor behind the sale was a lack of resources to “take the business to the next level” however, no specific reason has been given for the withdrawal.

Hayden did not immediately respond to requests for comment prior to publication, though the brewery replied to comments on its Facebook page saying “a lot has changed” since the sale announcement.

“A lot has happened in that time and the current custodians have changed their mind re this. So just an update to say we are no longer for sale,” the post read.

While it is not clear why Lord Nelson withdrew its venue from sale, the current saturation of the market could have made it difficult to find a buyer, with estimates at the time of the sale suggesting the asking price was $35 million for the hotel, business and beer brands.

Over the past year alone, a number of breweries have sold including Little Bang Brewing to Duxton Pubs Group, Stomping Ground Brewing to Good Drinks Australia, and Stone & Wood Brewing to Lion.

Increased competition, lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of means to scale up have led to breweries selling, as pointed out in the U.S., however, in Australia and New Zealand, businesses have looked towards crowdfunding as a way to raise capital and scale their business up.

Many breweries have undertaken crowdfunds this year, including Dainton Beer, Melbourne’s 3 Ravens and new brewery Future Magic, as the practice continues to gain traction. Most recently, Wilson Brewing, Blackflag Brewing, Your Mates Brewing Co. and contract brand Valhalla Brewing have all announced new crowdfunding campaigns.

While the current custodians have changed their minds about selling, no statement has been made on what the future looks like for Lord Nelson. The business is hiring however, looking for roles in sales and within the venue itself.

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