Lion has today announced the closure of the hospitality side of Byron Bay Brewery citing the effects of COVID-19.
In a post on the brewery’s Facebook page, the company said brewing would continue at the site.
“Like so many live music and hospitality venues, the past few months have been extremely tough on our community here at Byron Bay Brewery,” the post said.
“Today we’ve made the difficult decision that we won’t be re-opening our bar or music venue after its closure due to COVID-19.
“We will continue to brew our beer at the brewery, keeping the safety of our brewers and supply of our beers as our top priority.”
The statement said the company was looking for another venue that will provide it with “a better space”.
Lion purchased the brewery in 2016, and immediately set about renovating the venue, famous as a music venue which hosted the likes of The Pogues, Crowded House and The Ramones. A brewery has been on site since 2008.
Despite deploying the hospitality experience gained through its Little Creatures hospitality team, and talented brewer Alastair Gillespie brewing a strong array of beers, the venue has sometimes struggled to overcome an imaged tarnished by it previous owner’s move to license the brand to CUB, trading on Byron Bay provenance while being covertly produced elsewhere.
While producing a strong range of craft beers on site, the brewery’s mainstream-oriented flagship Premium Lager is brewed offsite at Lion’s other breweries. Byron Bay residents are renowned for their localism and hostility towards big business, famously blocking the entries of brands such as McDonald’s, KFC and Dan Murphy’s.
The announcement marks the second closure this week, with the COVID-19 related shutdowns cited as a factor in both.