Popular Melbourne craft beermaker is back after brutal lockdowns

In a positive sign for Australia’s cultural capital of Melbourne, a popular craft brewery will remain in business after scraping through a brutal few years of Covid lockdowns.

Bad Shepherd Brewing Co, founded in Cheltenham by Dereck and Diti Hales in 2015, last week successfully emerged from voluntary administration after creditors approved a financial restructuring of the business.

The brewery and attached pub, which serves up Australian-American BBQ fare, had appointed DBA Advisory as administrator last month after battling through the world’s longest lockdown – a total of 262 days – under former Premier Dan Andrews. 

The Hales worked with Administrator Atle Crowe-Maxwell to develop a Deed of Company Arrangement proposal to financially restructure the business and ‘ensure a stronger and more resilient operation moving forward’. 

Mr Hales said under administration the business had been progressing as usual with working their way back into profit always the goal.

‘Beer production, sales, distribution and brewpub operations have not missed a beat since we entered administration.’

‘After a difficult period for the business, we are grateful that creditors have supported our restructuring proposal and have backed us to return Bad Shepherd to a position of strength.’

‘We are excited at the opportunities ahead.’

Melbourne craft beermakers Bad Shepherd Brewing have emerged from voluntary administration (pictured: management including founders Dereck and Diti Hales centre right)

It's good news from beer lovers in Melbourne who had a tough run during the world's longest lockdown as the city's bars and clubs once again bustle into life

He said Bad Shepherd Brewing Co. remains committed to producing quality beer and providing memorable experiences for their customers and the local community.

It is understood no staff positions were cut during the administration. 

Ms Hales previously told The Crafty Pint their business was similar to a lot of small operators in Melbourne.

‘We took on debt positions to get through the Covid pandemic and our issue is that legacy debt combined with the softening and downturn in the market and the cost of living pressures.

‘We’ve never been able to get ahead of that legacy debt; if it was gone, we actually run a profitable business. 

‘The challenge is that, looking at everything in the industry and projecting for the next 18 months to two years, it’s not looking great for a while.’

The brewery does a raft of delicious beers including double choc, peanut butter and jam, and fan favourite the Poseidon triple IPA

The Hales said it was business as usual during the administration period and that it was good to be back

Ms Hales said in the ‘current climate’ it is extremely difficult to get ahead of the debt amassed during the period of lockdowns but the restructuring will allow them to stay afloat as business returns.

Any creditors of the company, whose debts have not already been admitted, are required to submit claims by November 30.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Bad Shepherd Brewery and DBA Advisory for comment. 


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