Trailblazing craft beer bar Archive Beer Boutique in Brisbane’s West End is up for sale.
The bar, which has been a staple in South East Queensland’s craft beer scene for more than a decade, is on the market after current owner Aushotel Group brought in commercial real estate services company CBRE to facilitate the sale.
CBRE Hotels National Pubs Director Paul Fraser, acting on behalf of the vendor, said it was a major opportunity for a potential buyer.
“It’s got to be one of the most authentic craft beer pubs in Australia, and it’s been a pioneer for the last 10 years in an ever-expanding industry,” Fraser said.
“There are record-low interest rates and a lot of people chasing high cash flow businesses of which this is obviously one. Craft beer has been an ever-evolving market and this is a good opportunity for someone to come in and capitalise on that.
“The vendor has been there for 10 years, he’s wanting to semi-retire and is looking to get out of that asset and enjoy life on the farm, so now is as good a time as any.”
The hospitality sector has certainly bounced back following the restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic by adapting to the ‘new normal’, and Archive has been no exception.
Having been reportedly one of the first in the state to offer growlers to the local community, they relied on their strong community following and demand for takeaways during COVID-19, and proved resilient as a result.
“It’s been going really well, it’s a really strong business, and the market has been really strong,” Fraser said.
“They have this loyal base of people who were getting their growlers refilled even though the venue had to be shut.”
The sale of Archive includes the lease for the two-level site which totals 1,419sqm, split between Archive and the Loft Bar.
“It’s effectively two businesses. The Loft is a bar and function space, and Archive Beer Boutique is the craft beer space, but the lease is for the whole building,” Fraser explained.
The venues come with full commercial late trading liquor licence until 2 am, and the ability to have three detached bottle shops within a 10km radius, as per Queensland’s licensing laws.
Archive is also adjacent to the billion-dollar West Village precinct, currently under construction as part of the ongoing regeneration of Brisbane’s West End.
Archive Beer Boutique
Archive Beer Boutique has a unique place in the history of Brisbane and South East Queensland’s fast-growing craft beer sector, and Jim Davies, managing director of vendor Aushotel, said that Archive has stood the test of time.
“Many of our great craft brews have all had their start and gained exposure and volume through Archive,” he said.
Archive is still a significant volume driver for many craft brands on the market and has never poured a “mainstream’ beer on tap.”
Whether it is taken on by an existing brewery or newcomer, or someone who wants to own a slice of craft beer history, Archive presents a great opportunity.
“Craft beer fans will know this asset very well. It’s been a predominant leader in the market for so long,” Fraser explained.
“Because it’s a unique space, with so much square meterage, it’s conducive to putting in a brewery.
“It’s got the floor plate for it, it’s got the space for it, and it’s obviously been a real leader and pioneer in that space in Queensland with that loyal patronage for craft beer.
“I think a craft brewer could see it as a real opportunity to get some great cash flow and profit while they are establishing their brewery there.”
Taking on a hospitality venture in a central location like the West End is something that many brewers dream about, and a ready-made venue with cash flow from the onset could make it a valuable acquisition.
“The business model with craft brewers is often that they have an industrial site and they start brewing beer and then have to raise that brand awareness. But it’s always challenging, these industrial sites are incredibly destinational.
“Archive provides high levels of patronage, a high level of cash flow and brand equity, and authenticity in this market. It’s a versatile space, there’s definite scope for a craft brewer to move in and set up a small brewery, and can instantly gain distribution in this market.”
While Archive does not currently have an in-house brewery, there is potential for that to change, and there is precedent in the area, with Brisbane Brewing Co. and Catchment Brewing Co. already in the vicinity.
“Breweries are capital intensive, they might spend a lot of money on a brewery and distribution is the next issue.
“But with Archive you literally have distribution right there with a long steady loyal patronage on your doorstep, and that’s got to be an attractive proposition.”
Expressions of interest will be open until 27th May 2021, unless sold prior. Interested parties should contact Paul Fraser at [email protected].