WA’s Colonial Brewing Company is to take over the Port Melbourne premises formerly occupied by Matilda Bay.
Colonial representatives have declined to comment, but the WA brewer’s own website now lists a Victorian liquor licence number that is currently registered to the Matilda Bay Garage Brewery at 89 Bertie Street, Port Melbourne.
For Matilda Bay owner Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) to give a competitor a legup into a new market – in the form of access to a turnkey brewery – is a departure from the standard big brewery protocol for obsolete facilities.
However, it’s understood there are sweeteners for CUB in the sublease arrangement, such as access to the facility for test brewing purposes.
The fact that the lessee’s parent company Colonial Leisure Group is a customer of CUB’s, with 20 hospitality venues across Australia, is also likely to have been persuasive.
CUB spokespersons declined to comment. The decision to close the Port Melbourne facility and brew the Matilda Bay beers at Cascade Brewery in Hobart was announced last year.