Gluten-reduced beer brand Sick Puppy Brewery is up for sale as the owners look to pass on the brand and see it grow to its full potential.
Sick Puppy has been producing beer since 2017 as a contract brewer with Slipstream Brewing Co. in Brisbane and Heroes & Villains in Perth.
Sick Puppy beers are ranged in more than 20 bottle shops including BWS and Dan Murphy’s outlets in Brisbane, Rockhampton and Gladstone, as well as large independents in Perth, and have been featured in the GABS Hottest 100, with the brand’s Golden Ale making it to number 83 in the 2017 lists.
Co-founder Terry Absolon said that he was at a crossroads with the brewery. To see the brand grow he needed to quit his job and commit full time, as well as commit further capital to it. Based on personal circumstances he made the tough decision to sell.
“We had some amazing successes being listed in bottle shops across the country, the GABS Hottest 100 and at the 2018 Sydney GABS for our American Pale Ale. We pushed hard and were in Dan Murphy’s in Gladstone and parts of Brisbane. Over here [in WA] I ran it myself and got into main indie stores like Mane Liquor,” Absolon said.
“My partner was on the east coast, I was on the west, we’ve both got full time jobs and the distance was definitely a problem.
“It was pretty much the two of us doing what we can but it was never going to be enough, we weren’t going to get to the next step without one or both of us having to move interstate to focus on it.
“We had interest from investors but they wanted us to go full time or front X amount of capital. We wanted to take that next step, but it just seemed too far for us.”
Absolon explained that he would like to Sick Puppy go on, even if it’s in another form.
“I want to see possibly an existing brewery bring Sick Puppy on as a spin off brand, maybe they will have their standard gluten beers and then gluten-reduced or even gluten-free as extra, or for someone who wants to set up a brewery and is just starting out an who wants to purchase experience but doesn’t have the brand recognition which we’ve been able to get and they could take advantage of.
“There’s a lot to leverage,” he said.
Absolon said he was open to offers of full or part ownership with him retaining a minority shareholding, and happy to consider offers.
As part of the sale of Sick Puppy, Absolon is selling the brand designed by Slipstream designer Matt Vergotis, who is also known for his work on Black Hops and Revel, as well as its IP, recipes and remaining stock.
He said the gluten-reduced consumer trends were a major draw for the brand – which was named after his friend’s reaction to standard gluten-containing beers.
“It caters for people who love to drink beer but haven’t been able to because of gluten intolerance, although it obviously has to be fully gluten-free for ceoliacs,” he explained.
Reflecting on his time developing Sick Puppy, he said that hindsight was a wonderful thing.
“We have put a lot of time and effort into it, but the distance was always the hard thing to manage. I got some words of wisdom early on, and that was to start local and build. It started with two good mates trying to work out where we wanted to set up the brewery and it became a balance between two very separate locations, Queensland and Western Australia.
“I have no regrets and I’m proud of what we were able to achieve. I don’t want to see it die with me and I’d love to see something amazing come out of it. It’s got the characteristics and someone could make something great out of it.”
Interested parties should email [email protected].