There’s been a late twist following today’s resolution by the Independent Brewers Association (IBA) to remove Feral Brewing as a member.
The exits of both Feral and 4 Pines Brewing from the association were formally sealed this morning.
The IBA recently announced its board had begun processes to remove both brewers as members following their respective takeovers by Coca-Cola Amatil and AB InBev.
4 Pines’ departure from the association was a foregone conclusion, but Feral and CCA were both of the belief that the WA brewer was still ‘independent’ under the IBA definition.
Either way, they opted not to take up the fight, executive officer Chris McNamara told Brews News.
He said they had been given the opportunity to make representations to the board at today’s meeting, held prior to the AGM in Sydney.
“They had 21 days’ notice that the discussion was going to happen at today’s meeting,” he said.
“If they didn’t agree with the board’s assessment, they were asked to provide evidence or information disputing it, and they chose not to.”
Late plot twist
However, Brews News understands that since today’s resolution, Feral Brewing has supplied information to the IBA confirming that parent company CCA’s total beer volume is below the 40 million litre cap prescribed for members.
IBA chair Ben Kooyman told Brews News the association is now considering this correspondence.
He said today’s resolution on Feral stands regardless and the brewer would have to re-apply for membership if it is eligible.
Feral Brewing founder Brendan Varis told Brews News the company would like to remain a part of the IBA, but not if it would receive a hostile reception from its members.
“We’ve confirmed that we qualify by all the measurable criteria, and for as long as we do we would like to continue to be members,” he said.
“But we do understand the politically sensitive nature of the situation and if it is the preference of the board or broader membership that we withdraw from the association then we’d respect their wishes.”
New board members
McNamara said the AGM had resulted in the appointments of two new board members, Ben Kraus of Bridge Road and Pete Philip of Wayward, the latter of whom moved from being a casual to permanent board member.
The existing board members were chair Ben Kooyman (Endeavour), Will Tatchell (Van Dieman) and Dave Padden (Akasha).
“We need to look at the process of how we appoint the other two board members and that will come out of the strategic review being done by Growthwise,” McNamara said.
He said these final board positions are not subject to voting by members, clearing the way for the board to look outside the industry’s ranks for candidates with specialist legal, financial or marketing expertise.