Dunedin’s brewery New New New is closing for good after the brewery failed to sell. The brewery announced on social media that they will close their doors for the final time on October 1.
Managing director Ian McKinlay had put the brewery on the market for $1.7 million earlier this year.
He told Pursuit of Hoppiness that the brewery was too big for many potential buyers.
He was hoping to stay open for longer but staff shortages expedited the closure.
The brewery features a rate mash filter system which he hopes to sell separately and hopes the space will continue to be used as a venue.
The initial move to sell was “largely for personal reasons as I’m after a change of scene,” McKinlay said in June when the brewery went on the market. “My original business plan was to do a lot more outside of the brewery and open new venues but Covid has slowed that up and moved us onto a different course and that has taken some of the excitement out of it for me. I enjoy building, progressing the brand and innovating but that work has had to be put on hold to a large extent. It’s time for a new adventure for me and that opens an opportunity for the right owner with new impetus to take the brewery to the next level.”
McKinlay, who once shared a flat with Garage Project co-founders Jos Ruffell and Ian Gillespie, said the brewery, being reliant on on-premise sales struggled with closures and restrictions during Covid and they also struggled to get traction in supermarkets thanks to their “out there” styles.
“Covid definitely hurt. Being a venue and a brewery we got hit on two fronts, our bread and butter on the brewery side is keg sales and our loyal bar and venue customers haven’t had an easy time. We saw some uplift for packaged product at the start of the pandemic but a lot of that demand seemed to move to the supermarkets where a lot of our products were perhaps a bit ‘out there’ to fit. The venue at the brewery has seen great support in between lockdowns which we are really thankful for.”
McKinlay did admit that the brewery struggled to get beer on taps at other venues in the city as Lion owned the two biggest breweries in the city; Speight’s and Emerson’s.
“Lion definitely is very aggressive in locking up taps no doubt about it, this is the main reason you see the independent breweries feeling the need to contract or own their own taps more and more. I don’t believe there are too many breweries [in Dunedin], more independent taps is what is required. An independent model can work with a single venue and/or grow to get to the point where you can contract taps and open more venues.”
New New New is owned by McKinlay and Southern Capital Limited and was set up in 2015 in an historic brick stable on Crawford Street in Dunedin.