Deeds Brewing site up for sale after popular craft beer maker goes under

The Glen Iris headquarters of Deeds Brewing has hit the market after the beer maker announced the decision to wind up operations. Picture:
The Glen Iris headquarters of Deeds Brewing has hit the market after the beer maker announced the decision to wind up operations. Picture:

The troubled brewer’s base of operations in Melbourne’s east has been put on the market less than two months after the business was shut down.

The 2602sqm property at 4 Paran Place, Glen Iris is spread across two titles and includes a recently refurbished two-level industrial complex.

Having operated as both a commercial brewery and hospitality venue, the property features a 250-patron licensed bar, commercial kitchen, large cool room, offices, solar power, ground level parking facilities and loading docks.

It’s located next to both Glen Iris train station and the Monash Freeway and around the corner from the suburb’s main shopping strip.

The 2602sqm property includes a renovated two-level industrial complex that has operated as a commercial brewery and hospitality venue. Picture:

Offered for sale by expression of interest with a price guide of $12 million, the listing describes the property as an “outstanding opportunity catering to diverse strategies be it hospitality, commercial, industrial and/or owner occupation.”

Selling agent Chris Chartres of Lemon Baxter, who is handling the sale with Walter Occhiuto of Dawkins Occhiuto, said it was rare to find a large warehouse in that area, let alone one that already had a hospitality fit-out.

“To find a warehouse like that in Glen Iris is unique in itself,” he said. “A lot of the hard work has been done by the previous occupier, with a huge amount of money spent transforming it into what it is today.”

The site is located in a pocket of industrial properties adjacent to Glen Iris train station. Picture:

Deeds acquired the site in 2015 and undertook a major overhaul of the former automotive workshop in 2018, which included restoration works and setting up the brewery.

The award-winning brewery’s co-founder Patrick Alé said in a post on Deeds’ website at the time that the brewery was built off the success of drinks distribution business Red Island, which he started with co-founder David Milstein in 2003. 

The business acquired and later sold the rights to distribute Rekorderlig cider in Australia, funding the establishment of the Glen Iris base, which was chosen after a two year search.

“Most of the builders we knew and who we took through the building thought that we were crazy,” Mr Alé said. “In their opinion the building was too far gone – they recommended we demolish it and turn it into a high rise. We disagreed.” 

“We saw a unique space in the eastern suburbs of inner Melbourne, complete with sawtooth roof and heritage features.”

The brewery includes a high-end fit-out including a 250-patron bar and commercial kitchen.

Mr Chartres said the property had already attracted interest from other brewers, and while it was being sold without the brewing equipment that is still onsite, there was the opportunity for the buyer to separately purchase the customised setup.

“It is on offer to stay with the building, but that would be a separate discussion,” he said.

Deeds announced the decision to wind up the business in May after entering voluntary administration in March, citing rising input costs, a challenging sales environment and lingering tax debt since the pandemic as contributing factors.

These issues have plagued the craft beer industry recently, leading to more than a dozen independent brewers going into administration over the past few years.

While the brewing equipment isn’t offered as part of the sale, it can be purchased separately. Picture:

Mr Alé and Mr Milstein said in a joint statement in March that a change of tune by the Australian Tax Office regarding their tax debt prompted the decision to put the business into administration.

“The ATO had previously been ok to let us pay when we could, but in the last 12 months they have changed their approach.”

“We’ve asked the ATO for a payment plan numerous times, and have been rejected each time.”

“We simply wanted more time so we would not have to put massive strain [on] our business during very difficult market conditions.”

The vast industrial site has a range of potential uses, subject to approval. Picture:

After a search for a buyer or investor to keep the brewery going didn’t come to fruition, Deeds released a statement on social media in May announcing the decision to wind up operations.

“Our hearts are broken,” the statement said. “Since launching Deeds Brewing in 2012, our mission has always been about passion and people. We’ll deeply miss our dedicated staff, who have become like family to us, and our incredible fans who’ve stood by us through thick and thin throughout the years.”

The expressions of interest campaign closes August 6.