As Japanese-owned Lion Dairy makes the call to shut it down, one of South Australia’s most popular brewers will be no more.
On Wednesday, Lion reported that after running below full capacity for some time, West End operations were “no longer viable.”
“The Australian beer market has been in long-term decline for the past decade as Australian drinkers choose other beverages, like wine, over beer,” Lion said in a statement.
“Our input costs have continued to rise against this backdrop of declining volume, and a further drop in draught beer sales as a result of the pandemic.”
The company says the closure 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”.
“Our priority right now is the wellbeing of our team here at the Brewery,” Lion said.
“We recognise this is very difficult news and it comes at a particularly challenging time for our people.”
Under this proposal, Lion says that about a third of its current team will remain in South Australia through sales and sponsorship positions.
“We acknowledge West End’s 160-year history,” it said.
“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.”