Yesterday, Black Hops Brewing faced imminent death. Today, the acclaimed Gold Coast brewery is back on track after a group of investors – Black Hops Craft – swooped in to save the business at the 11th hour.

“We are passionate supporters of craft beer and independent breweries,” Black Hops Craft’s Darren Hill said in a statement supplied to Broadsheet. “Most importantly, we believe in the team and the quality of the product. That’s why we’re taking on the Black Hops brand.

“Independent breweries are an important part of the beer landscape and we genuinely feel Black Hops is a jewel in the crown of the craft beer industry.”

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It’s been a rough road to get here. Black Hops has been on life support since March, with debt of $7.32 million owed to the ATO and other stakeholders.

Deloitte Turnaround & Restructuring was appointed to handle the administration, and have been trying to secure a rescue deal since.

Tim Heenan and David Mansfield of Deloitte concluded that Black Hops had been insolvent from as early as December 2022, and that the business should be placed into liquidation to pay back debtors. The tune is completely different today.

“We are pleased to announce … the business has been sold to a consortium representing a number of the existing shareholders and other supporters of craft beer and independent breweries. This provides certainty for the future of the Black Hops brand,” said Heenan in a statement.

“Over coming weeks, and in conjunction with the purchaser, we will manage the transition of the business to the new owners, Black Hops Craft Pty Ltd.”

Black Hops was founded by Daniel Norris (who’s since exited), Michael McGovern and Edward Oldfield in 2014, and turned heads with an eggnog stout and a bunch of exemplary hop-driven beers.

The trio launched some of Australia’s most successful crowdfunding campaigns to fund their operations – including a Burleigh Heads brewpub and a main production site in Biggera Waters. The brand’s East Brisbane taproom is closed indefinitely.

Independent breweries around Australia are struggling. In the past 12 months at least a dozen have entered voluntary administration, including Big Shed in Adelaide, Ballistic in Brisbane, Hawkers and Dainton in Melbourne and Akasha and Wayward in Sydney – all popular, respected operators.

Black Hops was previously estimated to be worth $65 million and currently employs around 70 staff across its operations – making it one of Queensland’s biggest indie breweries.

Additional reporting by Nick Connellan.