Asahi has announced the Matilda Bay brewpub in Healesville will close, with the final day of trade to be Sunday 19 May, but the Matilda Bay brand will continue to function.

The brewpub opened in 2019, with Asahi Beverages’ Fire & Earth Ventures working in partnership with one of the Matilda Bay founders, Phil Sexton.

Sexton said: “It’s always tough when a venture like this comes to an end. However, our partnership has been guided by a commitment to positive outcomes since the start. We’ve enjoyed several successes, though not without challenges, including navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished together.

“We thank the Healesville and Yarra Ranges community for their support. Since the outset, the appreciation and backing we have received has been remarkable.”

Speaking about the decision to close the brewpub and the future for the brand, General Manager of Fire & Earth Ventures, Ryan Saundry, said: “While we have seen some good success with innovation from Matilda Bay over recent years, we have taken the difficult decision to close the Healesville brewpub and cease manufacturing operations there.

“Most of Matilda Bay’s brewing will be transferred to Asahi Beverages’ other Fire & Earth Ventures sites across Australia, including Pirate Life in Port Adelaide. These other sites have the capability to manage Matilda Bay’s continued growth.

“This will help us simplify our operations and ensure Matilda Bay products are available to our customers, as well as enabling an enhanced focus on the growth of our other premium local breweries.

“We want to express our thanks and gratitude to our Matilda Bay team who have helped us expand the brand over the last few years, including through the very challenging COVID-19 period when we first launched the brew-pub. The team really embodies the pioneering spirit of Matilda Bay, and we thank them for their contributions over the past few years.”

Asahi said the closure will impact existing team members, but that the business is committed to supporting all impacted employees through a career transition program and is actively exploring suitable alternative roles within the organisation.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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