The Mighty Hunter Valley to sell but Foghorn stays on

As part of a shift in Mighty Craft’s retail strategy the company is selling its Hunter Valley venue, but incumbent brewers Foghorn Brewery are staying on.

In a release to the media, accelerator and hospitality business Mighty Craft announced it had enlisted JLL Hotels & Hospitality to help sell The Mighty Hunter venue.

The accelerator also confirmed that Shawn Sherlock’s Foghorn Brewery will maintain rights over the brewing operation.

The ASX-listed business said this will allow potential purchasers to “focus on the significant opportunity in food and beverage trade whilst capitalizing on the dominant brand recognition of Foghorn”.

Foghorn was one of Mighty Craft’s early acquisitions, becoming part of its portfolio in 2019 when the accelerator was called Founders First.

In 2020 it was announced that Mighty Craft would be moving in the direction of a venue model.

The business, which had previously focused on the acquisition of craft brewing and distilling businesses, confirmed the acquisition of the Hunter Valley site, formerly known as Potters Tavern and Brewery, and invested in a refurbishment under its Foghorn brand for the site, the long term lease costing $1.5 million.

Mighty Craft subsequently opened its Moonee Ponds venue to showcase its portfolio of brands in Victoria. There has been no comment as yet as to whether Mighty Craft was looking to sell this venue.

The news about the Hunter Valley site comes following the announcement earlier this year that venues across the group were rebounding from a challenging period during COVID-19 which has impacted the entire hospitality industry. However, in the April update, the accelerator said its two Mighty Craft-branded venues were operating at 70 per cent of optimal trading levels.

In the statement this week about the sale, JLL said that the “anticipated surge in domestic tourism” had prompted the sale. The real estate agents also said that it “coincides with a significant push into key regional markets by hoteliers throughout the state”.

Expressions of interest for the Hunter Valley venue will close on 10th November 2021.

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