Blizzard Brewing Company, Australia’s first and only brewery to sit above the snowline at 1,550-metres altitude, is up for sale.
Located in Victoria’s alpine region just 50 metres from the Cobungra ski lift at Dinner Plain, Blizzard Brewing is one of eight craft breweries that make up the now well-travelled High Country Brewery Trail.
After much deliberation, Blizzard Brewing owner Mark Hubbard has made the tough decision to sell his beloved three-year-old brewery due to ongoing health requirements that can’t be met in the alpine location.
Forming part of Australia’s first brewery trail, Hubbard told Brews News that he is immensely proud of the role Blizzard Brewing plays in stimulating tourism into the high country of Australia.
“What we have created is an award-winning brewery for sale in a very very special part of Australia, that has made a very very good start at becoming a tourist destination and an iconic part of the alpine experience,” Hubbard explained.
He said that the area’s destination tourism has been growing “quite remarkably” over the last few years and that he anticipates new levels of investment in the ski infrastructure on nearby Mount Hotham, due in part to the purchase of the lift company by Colorado-based Vail Resorts.
Hubbard said his ideal purchaser would be someone who has ambitions and plans for a production brewery and taproom setup, brewing beers on a serve-on-site basis during the busier, winter months and focusing on wholesale, metro sales during summer.
“For someone who’s thinking about a brewpub model in a more metropolitan area, rather than duplicate the investment that already exists here, for instance, they can concentrate on their taps and their kitchen and their guest experience rather than concentrating on creating a production facility from scratch to make beer for their venue.“
“They can make beer for their venue here… leveraging off of existing licencing and so forth.
“The most lucrative part of the market is brewing for your own taps.”
Hubbard said that he feels the craft brewing industry is going to aggregate and become more vertically integrated.
“Smaller breweries need to get bigger or join forces with others and get economies of scale.
“Producers need to make sure that they have good markets at retail for their beer.”
With an asking price of $682,000, Hubbard said that the business, licences, recipes, taproom, brewhouse and all accompanying equipment is included in the sale. While Blizzard Brewing is a leased premises, Hubbard said that the landlord who owns the freehold would be amenable to a separately negotiated sale as well.
Blizzard Brewing has a Premier Stainless Systems 11hL three vessel brewhouse, 7,700-litre cellar capacity and an annual brewing capacity of 70,000-litres. The brewhouse is configured to allow the brewery to triple production with the advent of more fermenters.
The business makes 54 per cent of its sales from the taproom – licenced till 10pm – and 46 per cent from wholesale sales. The taproom caters to its visitors with brewery tours, beer tasting paddles, counter and packaged beer sales, snacks and during the ski season, acoustic entertainment.
But what really sets Blizzard Brewing apart from all of its competitors, Hubbard said, is its water source. Blizzard beers are brewed using the naturally occurring mountain water that accumulates under Dinner Plain.
“Most breweries in Australia get water from sources that run past them, our water accumulates beneath us.”
Hubbard told Brews News that the sale has already generated interest. While the sale might cause concern for some, Hubbard emphasised that with it, the sale will bring new opportunities, opportunities that he may not have been able to introduce himself due to ongoing health issues.
For further details about the terms of the settlement, please visit Blizzard Brewing’s sale listing.