By James Atkinson

Most of the Barons Brewing companies' assets had already been sold by the time a liquidator was appointed earlier this month.

Instead, insolvency accountants Rodgers Reidy are pursuing a number of "relatively small" debtors, director Geoff Reidy told TheShout.

Reidy said that when he was appointed by former director Patrick Clarke on November 1, Barons had already been through a process of selling off its assets and "there was very little left on the deck".

As part of this process, Clarke acquired the Barons brand's intellectual property ahead of an intended relaunch next year.

Reidy said the debtors he was pursuing were relatively small and were unlikely to make much difference in the outcome of the liquidation.

He stressed that he had only just started investigating the business and was reluctant to speculate on the reasons for its demise.

"I think it was simply that it was unsustainable in its current format," he said.

He said Clarke and other shareholders had pulled the plug after the company had failed to meet agreed targets.

Clarke and Reidy both said former managing director Adam Flohm – who was sacked after a year in the role – was among the company's debtors.
But Flohm completely rejected this when contacted by TheShout.

"I don't owe the company any money," he said.

"If anything I'm actually owed money by the company, but I've chosen not to pursue it."

What went wrong at Barons?

Brisbane-based beer writer Matt Kirkegaard said Barons successfully differentiated itself with innovative beers such as the Black Wattle Original Ale and the Lemon Myrtle Witbier.

But he told TheShout the brewer's strategy of taking on the major players in distribution was a "recipe for disaster".

He said some of the licences Barons acquired were competing directly with its own product lines or were a poor fit with the Barons brand.

Barons did licensing and distribution deals with brands including Snowy Mountains Brewery, Byron Bay Premium Ale, Lucky Beer and Outback Brewing.

Kirkegaard said Barons' collapse highlights the difficulties craft brewers face in trying to grow a business sustainably.

The Shout Team

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1 Comment

  1. Well, the native spice range was awful, almost to the point of Barefoot Radler/Monteith’s Summer Ale territory. But their ESB was glorious, a beer I actively sought out all over Melbourne.

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