By Andrew Starke

Woolworths is set to close the Sail & Anchor brewery in Fremantle, one of the oldest microbrewers in Australia.

Sail & Anchor branded beer will continue to be available although this will now be brewed by a local independent brewery.

Contacted by TheShout, a spokesperson for Woolworths confirmed the closure, saying it was a ‘commercial decision’.

The Sail & Anchor pub will continue to offer a wide range of local and imported beers including local handcrafted products,” he said. “There are no other planned changes to the facade or physical layout of the hotel.”

Woolworths holds a stake in both Gage Roads Brewing of Palmyra and Fremantle’s Sail & Anchor operator, the Australian Leisure & Hospitality Group (ALH).

Sail & Anchor Dry Dock was the second private label beer introduced by Woolworths liquor operations following Platinum Blonde.

While the Sail & Anchor brewer was reluctant to speak to TheShout, industry sources have speculated that Woolworths' stake in Gage Roads has ultimately led to its consolidation around one microbrewery.

The Sail and Anchor started in 1984 and is considered by many to be Australia’s pioneer microbrewery.

However it has never had the volume or bottling capacity to become a serious player in Woolworths' microbrewing plans.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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