By James Atkinson

Lion has confirmed that the future of the White Rabbit Healesville Brewery is currently under review, but insists it is business as usual at the Victorian facility for the time being.

Industry sources suggested the White Rabbit Brewery, established by Little Creatures in 2009, was set to be jettisoned, with production of all the White Rabbit beers moving to the new Creatures brewery in Geelong.

But Lion spokeswoman Elise Gare told TheShout no such decision had been made.

“We have decided to undertake a review of the White Rabbit Healesville site to determine if this brewery or the new state-of-the-art Geelong brewery offers greater growth opportunities for the brand,” she said.

“White Rabbit is an integral part of our craft portfolio and we believe this brand has the potential to become a much bigger player in the craft category.”

“We also see our Geelong Brewery as a great home to craft beers. The site has the capacity for future development including the opportunity to establish a number of spiritual homes for our craft beer brands within the one location.“

Lion head of craft Brett Grebert revealed late last year that production of White Rabbit Dark Ale had moved to Geelong.

Just this month White Rabbit added a Belgian-style Pale Ale as the third permanent beer in its range.

The Shout Team

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  1. By considering this move Lion seems to be doing what lion does best. Buy and close breweries to keep true craft beer out of the market. If lion was serious about craft beer it would keep breweries like white rabbit open. Obviously pre lion Little Creatures (who set up white rabbit) could see expanding craft beer was the way to go. It seems that under lion those days are over and it time to close/merge breweries (at the expense of true craft beer, ie. flavour). Don’t believe the lion downplays. They have always said whatever they need to to gain market share. Spending more money on marketing/PR and less on putting flavour in the beer is how they have worked in the past. It looks like nothing has changed. Shame on you Lion. Craft you are not.

  2. Let’s not also forget the loss to the community. White rabbit contributes $1000’s to Yarra valley based community groups for fundraising effort.
    This community connection has never been stronger.
    As important as the integrity of craft beer, please consider a thought for the hard working, tenacious brewers and staff that now have uncertainty hanging over their heads until a decision is made.
    Please don’t get me wrong, Geelong is a great brewery, filled with gifted and passionate brewers ( I know these people)
    In my heart, the spiritual home of white rabbit should always be in Healesville.

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