As if 2020 couldn’t get any worse, Lion has announced today that South Australia’s historic West End brewery will close in mid-2021.

A statement released by Lion outlined that the Australian beer market has been in “long-term decline” for the past decade, as Australian drinkers have chosen other beverages over beer.

Beer consumption per capita had dropped by about 20 per cent in 10 years, as well as a further decline in beer sales during the pandemic.

The 160 year old brewery has been operating below its full production capacity for some time, which has made the business “No longer viable”.

“We have come to this proposal as the best way to ensure we have a sustainable brewing network for the future,” says Lion in their statement.

“This is no reflection on the dedication or capability of our team at West End and their contribution to this brewery and our brands over many years.

We will be consulting with each and every team member to support them through this proposed change.”

The closure will impact 94 jobs, however, Lion confirmed approximately a third of the existing team will remain in South Australia across sales and sponsorship roles.

“Those impacted by this proposal would have access to extensive outplacement support, and a West End Re-Skilling Fund of up to $1 million, on top of any potential redundancy payments.”

The West End Brewery opened on Hindley Street in 1859. The brewery developed a network of pubs across Adelaide to support the business.

“We acknowledge West End’s 160-year history. We are a proud supporter of sports at all levels – sponsoring many competitions and teams in SA including the SANFL, the Strikers, and the Redbacks – and of the pubs and clubs that bring communities together.

“We are committed to doing all we can to see as many of our events and traditions continue and working alongside our customers during this difficult period as they recover from a very challenging year.”

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