It is one of the original break-out small breweries in Australia but the future for a beer icon in WA’s South West is uncertain.
An advertisement in a Busselton real estate publication has confirmed that Bootleg Brewery is up for sale. And it is hoped the brewery can continue as a going concern for the right operator.
It is the second WA brewery in as many months to be put on the market. Hopped Up Brewing in Wangara was accepting offers from late June. A deal with a buyer is believed to be imminent.
Bootleg was established in Wilyabrup near Margaret River in 1994 by Tom Reynolds and quickly became an “oasis of beer in a desert of wine”.
Releases such as Raging Bull, Sou’ West Wheat and Wils Pils became popular amongst the first wave of the modern independent beer drinker. The brewpub was also a well-visited venue for tourists.
But there had been rumours for 12 months that Bootleg was entertaining the possibility of a buy-out. Long-time brewer Ryan Nilsson-Linne departed the operation a couple of months ago and has since joined Brewhouse Margaret River.
In the advertisement for First National Real Estate in Busselton, Bootleg is being offered as a “walk-in, walk-out transaction”.
“The sale of the property includes an expansive 30.0105 hectare landholding, significant buildings and improvements along with an award winning product with established, recognisable brand.
“Bootleg brewery has been established for over 25 years with the purpose-built building which is in excess of 1,000 square metres in size.
“The business is currently run under management and has wholesale supplies to national retailers including Dan Murphy’s, BWS, Woolworths, Cellarbrations along with local retailers and restaurants across the State.
“Great potential also exists for expansion of brewery operations and sales as well as potential to increase from of house revenue. Current brewery production is 100,800 litres with a forecast target production of 140,000 litres.”
Several prominent members of the WA craft beer industry had recently shown interest in Bootleg.
The South West region has become a haven for the State’s beer market. There are 15 breweries situated between Busselton and Margaret River.
The opportunity to tender of the property closes on September 6.