Tribe Breweries is to cease production at its Latham Street facility on the Mornington in May 2020.
The Goulburn-based brewer has been considering the move for a while and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the on-premise industry accelerated the decision.
The brewery’s brands will be either moved back to Mornington Peninsula Brewery’s original site, or if they are larger volume ranges, to Tribe’s $35 million facility in Goulburn which it completed last year. There, it has potential capacities of 70 million litres a year.
The Tribe team is currently considering options for the site once the brewing is transitioned to other sites.
However they are looking at partnering with a new operator with the site or moving the whole brewery to Goulburn.
The production brewery was acquired as part of a deal for the Mornington Peninsula Brewery in 2018.
Mornington Peninsula Brewery itself acquired the site located close to its original home on Watt Road in 2014 after a period of rapid expansion which required greater brewing capacity.
Tribe CEO Anton Szpitalak said the overarching rationale for closing the site was that it didn’t fit into its current strategies.
“Mornington’s Latham facility sits in the middle ground between the small batch, experimental capability of Mornington Peninsula Brewery’s Watt Rd brewery, and the larger brewery that Tribe has successfully ramped up in Goulburn.
“With the recent withdrawal of on-premise business from the industry due to COVID-19, and Latham St in recent times focused on kegged product, we had to make the tough call now to close the facility.
“While we can brew all of the Mornington beers everyone loves in our other breweries, this move really impacts our production team in Mornington, that we care deeply about.
“We hope that we can retain as many folk as possible during this process and that they will join us in our other breweries.”
The Mornington Peninsula Brewery brand will remain part of the Tribe portfolio which also includes Pabst Blue Ribbon, Stockade Brew Co and Wilde Gluten Free, and the move will not impact either the larger core range of Mornington or its small batch capability, said Matt Bebe, founder of Mornington Peninsula Brewery.
“Mornington brews on in Mornington, our home has always been Watt Rd, and we look forward to making cool new brews well into the future with our team here while we start to explore our distilling.”