Rocks withdraws brewpub from sale

The Rocks brewery and restaurant in Alexandria

Rocks Brewing Company has decided after a four-month sale campaignto take its brewery and restaurant off the market.

No sale agreement could be reached, despite a significant amount of interest in the assets from local and large international companies, Rocks managing director Mark Fethers told Brews News.

“The brewery seemed to be too big for some of the smaller breweries looking to expand and too small for some of the bigger brands trying to expand or enter the market,” Rocks said in a statement.

Fethers said Rocks will now look for an investor to buy out Simon Osborne, who will step back from the day-to-day running of the business.

“I will be looking for hopefully a local Australian investor that has a group of pubs or outlets that would benefit both parties,” Fethers said.

“Having the brewery on the market has hurt our sales very badly, as the rumours and crap that other sales reps and breweries in the industry have spread around has seen us lose a lot of taps.”

However, Fethers said the business’s profitability had actually improved over the period as the company rationalised its sales team, reducing its payroll bill.

“There are a lot changes happening over the next couple of months… with the sale of our bottling line and investing in some larger fermenters to keep up with contract demand and also expanding capacity, as well as some smaller tanks to give our brewers some flexibility and creativity in brewing some smaller batches,” he said.

Fethers said the company has hardly used the bottling line, purchased second hand from Feral Brewing only recently, and has chosen instead to focus on packaging in cans, using mobile canning facilities.

“We will continue to focus on making award-winning beers as well as constant high quality of beer to the punters,” he said.

“There might be a little change of focus in the brewery as we look to expand our contract business however we will also focus on making some smaller specialty batch beers as well as focusing internally on our amazing hospitality venues.”

Fethers said Rocks head brewer Matt Cuthbert has announced he will depart the company for a new role with a start-up brewery and Rocks will soon be advertising for a replacement, among other positions.

“It is going to be an entirely new team going forward,” the managing director said.

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