The Bitter Brew: Wayward Brewing’s Financial Woes

Cheers to Troubles: Wayward Brewing Faces Financial Crunch

Wayward Brewing's Financial Woes
Wayward Brewing’s Financial Woes

In a twist that’s not so hoppy, Wayward Brewing, a popular Australian craft beer company, is swimming in troubled waters. The founder, Peter Philip, decided to take the plunge and put the brewery into voluntary administration on January 2, 2024. Hold onto your beer mugs; it’s not the frothy news craft beer lovers wanted.

Pouring Over the Debt: $2 Million Woes

Wayward Brewing finds itself drowning in debt, totaling a not-so-refreshing $2 million. This debt isn’t just owed to your average beer-loving Joes’; it includes trade creditors, the Australian Taxation Office, and even shareholders who threw some cash into the brew kettle.

Founder’s Warning: The Craft Beer Storm is Brewing

Peter Philip, the mastermind behind Wayward’s concoctions, forewarns that this might not be the last pint-sized craft brewer to face financial troubles. As a former chairman of the Independent Brewers Association, he knows the bitter truth about the challenges the industry is facing.

Blame it on the Brews: Government Excise Takes a Toll

Atle Crowe-Maxwell, the administrator from DBA Reconstruction & Advisory, spills the beans on why Wayward is singing the financial blues. According to him, the government’s love for excise is leaving a bitter taste. Up to a third of the cost of beer is due to this government tax, and the craft brewing industry is feeling the burn.

Craft Beer vs. Carlton: A Battle of Brews

Crowe-Maxwell points fingers at the pandemic’s aftermath, where people are opting for Carlton instead of craft beer. It seems folks are trading brewery hangouts for home-cooked meals or a quick drive-thru stop at Maccas. The struggle is real, and it’s leaving craft brewers like Wayward with a financial hangover.

The Perfect Storm: Craft Beer’s Rocky Journey

According to Peter Philip, the conditions affecting smaller independent brewers are a “perfect storm.” Consumers, it seems, aren’t raising their glasses in support as much as these craft brewers had hoped. Input costs have skyrocketed – up 25 to 30 percent in the last two years. Transport costs have taken off by 50 percent, and electricity prices have surged by a whopping 70 percent.

Craft Beer Crisis 101: Why Wayward is Sinking

  1. Excise Explosion: Government tax takes up a significant chunk of the beer’s cost.
  2. Consumer Choices: People are leaning towards mainstream options like Carlton.
  3. Cost of Living Crunch: Rising prices for ingredients, transport, and electricity are squeezing brewers.

Frothy Dreams to Financial Nightmares

Wayward’s dream of becoming a top-10 Australian brewery is turning into a beer-soaked nightmare. Peter Philip, in a pre-trouble interview, mentioned plans for an initial public offering (IPO) or stock market listing in 2022. Fast forward to 2024, and they’re floating in the sea of financial woes instead.

A Crafty Move: Voluntary Administration

To deal with the financial hangover, Wayward Brewing has opted for voluntary administration. Atle Crowe-Maxwell, the appointed administrator, is gearing up to restructure the business. A Deed of Company Arrangement proposal is on the horizon, outlining a financial plan for creditors and a strategy for the business to brew its way out of administration.

Wayward Brewing's Financial Woes
Wayward Brewing’s Financial Woes

A Hoppy Twist: No Impact on Brews

Hold onto your beer goggles! Despite the financial storm, Wayward Brewing’s taps are still flowing. Ongoing production and distribution are unaffected, and the brewery and taproom remain open. It’s a testament to their commitment to maintaining a high standard of service – because even in financial turmoil, a cold beer can be a comfort.

Craft Beer Rollercoaster: The Timeline of Troubles

January 2, 2024Wayward Brewing enters voluntary administration.
January 10, 2024First meeting of creditors scheduled.
Later in JanuaryFate of the business to be decided in a second meeting.

The Last Sip: What Lies Ahead?

As the fate of Wayward Brewing hangs in the balance, the craft beer community watches with bated breath. The first meeting of creditors on January 10, 2024, will be a crucial sip, and the second meeting later in the month will determine whether Wayward can brew its way out of financial turmoil.

Wayward Brewing's Financial Woes
Wayward Brewing’s Financial Woes

The Frothy Finale: A Crafty Comeback or Last Call?

Wayward Brewing’s journey from frothy dreams to financial troubles is a tale that echoes the challenges faced by many craft brewers in the ever-changing beer landscape. As the craft beer community holds its breath, we wait to see if Wayward can craftily navigate the stormy seas of debt or if it’s time to call it a last, bitter, and hoppy farewell. Cheers, or maybe not, to the uncertain fate of craft brewing in the land down under.


Why did Wayward Brewing enter voluntary administration?

Wayward Brewing, facing significant financial losses, decided to enter voluntary administration on January 2, 2024. The founder, Peter Philip, cited declining consumer demand in the craft beer market and substantial increases in production costs as contributing factors.

How much debt does Wayward Brewing owe?

Wayward Brewing finds itself in a financial bind with debts totaling around $2 million. This includes debts to trade creditors, statutory creditors such as the Australian Taxation Office, and loans from shareholders.

What are the major challenges faced by Wayward Brewing?

Wayward Brewing is grappling with a combination of challenges, including the impact of government excise on beer prices, changing consumer preferences favoring mainstream options over craft beer, and significant increases in input costs such as transport and electricity.

How has the craft brewing industry been affected by government excise?

According to Atle Crowe-Maxwell, the administrator, the craft brewing industry has been heavily impacted by government excise, which accounts for up to a third of the cost of beer. This tax burden has added to the financial challenges faced by craft brewers.

What steps will the administrator take to address the financial troubles?

Atle Crowe-Maxwell, the appointed administrator, plans to restructure the business. A Deed of Company Arrangement proposal is likely to be put forward, outlining a financial return to creditors and a strategy for the business to trade out of administration.

Is Wayward Brewing still operating?

Despite the financial troubles, Wayward Brewing continues to operate. Ongoing production and distribution remain unaffected, and the brewery and taproom are open, ensuring minimal impact on the consumer experience.

What is the timeline for decisions on Wayward Brewing’s fate?

The first meeting of creditors is scheduled for January 10, 2024. A second meeting, where the fate of the business will be decided, is set to take place later in January.

Are there any sister companies or related businesses involved in the administration?

Yes, Wayward Brewing’s sister company and distribution arm, Local Drinks Collective, is also in administration. However, Batch Brewing Co., co-founder of Local Drinks Collective, is not involved in the voluntary administration process.

What were Wayward Brewing’s plans before the financial troubles?

Prior to the financial difficulties, Wayward Brewing had ambitious plans, including the consideration of an initial public offering (IPO) or stock market listing in 2022. The recent challenges have significantly altered these plans.

How can consumers support Wayward Brewing during this challenging time?

Consumers can continue to support Wayward Brewing by patronizing their brewery and taproom, enjoying their craft beers, and staying informed about the developments. The craft beer community plays a crucial role in the industry’s resilience during tough times. Cheers to supporting local brews!

Why is there a mention of Wayward’s sister company, Local Drinks Collective?

Local Drinks Collective, co-founded by Batch Brewing Co. and Wayward Brewing, is also in administration. This adds another layer to Wayward Brewing’s financial challenges, but Batch Brewing Co. is not directly involved in the voluntary administration process.

How has the craft beer industry been affected in recent years, according to Peter Philip?

Peter Philip, the founder of Wayward Brewing, described the recent conditions affecting smaller independent brewers as a “perfect storm.” Factors include consumers not supporting craft brewers to the extent needed, a significant increase in input costs (up to 30% in the past two years), and changing consumer preferences.

What is the significance of the government excise mentioned in the article?

Government excise is a tax imposed on beer by the government. In the case of the craft brewing industry, it accounts for up to a third of the cost of beer. The high excise rates have contributed to the financial challenges faced by Wayward Brewing and other craft brewers.

How many staff members does Wayward Brewing employ?

Wayward Brewing employs 15 full-time staff members and several casuals. The brewery is not only a production facility but also includes a taproom, where they serve meals, host live music and trivia, and conduct brewery tours.

Is Wayward Brewing the only craft brewer facing financial troubles?

According to Peter Philip, Wayward Brewing won’t be the last craft brewer to face financial difficulties. He mentioned that several craft brewers fell into administration in 2023, indicating broader challenges within the industry.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected Wayward Brewing?

While government financial relief during the pandemic provided some breathing space, subsequent cost-of-living pressures being felt by consumers have impacted the business. Changes in consumer behavior, such as choosing mainstream options over craft beer and opting for home-cooked meals, have contributed to Wayward Brewing’s struggles.

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