QLD’s Stony Creek Brewery acquires 4 Hearts Brewery and Pumpyard Bar

July 3, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Stony Creek Brewing, a small family owned brewery based in Queensland’s Laidley Valley, has recently announced its acquisition of 4 Hearts Brewery and Pumpyard Bar. The news marks a significant step forward for Stony Creek, which currently brews its beers on the owner’s property. It is also reflective of the now well-established industry pressures that have been causing above-average movement so far this year.

This week’s acquisition of 4 Hearts Brewery and Pumpyard Bar will see Stony Creek expand its presence into Ipswich, about an hour closer to Brisbane than its Laidley Valley home.

“Expanding from our Lockyer Valley nanobrewery has always been part of our vision,” said Deryk Anderson, Co-Founder.

“The opportunity to take over 4 Hearts came at a perfect time. We are excited to bring our passion for traditional independent brewing to this iconic location in Ipswich.” 

The acquisition will see the Long family hand over full ownership of both 4 Hearts Brewing and 88 Limestone Precinct to the Anderson family. James and Tracey Long established both businesses nine years ago, converting what was once a century old Technical College into a bar and brewery. 

The expansion will see Jack Anderson, Co-Founder and prior employee of the acquired venue and pub, step into a managerial role where he will oversee the integration and introduction of Stony Creek’s beer line. 

“Having worked closely with the team and customers here, I am confident in the seamless blending of our operations,” he said.

Jack Anderson also indicated that Stony Creek would continue to sell 4 Hearts beers alongside its own beers: “We are committed to retaining the beloved 4 Hearts brews on our menu.” 

Stony Creek has also indicated that it will eventually move its brewing functions into the new facility, which will likely become branded as Stony Creek Brewing’s taphouse. Over the coming month, the team will begin to make subtle updates to the facilities and menus that will cater to the local beer community.

“Engaging with the Ipswich and Lockyer Valley communities is a top priority for us,” said Karen Anderson, Co-Founder and event organiser.

“We look forward to participating in local events like Spark Festival, Galvanized, and Fire in the Grove. Keep an eye on our website and social media for updates.”

The news comes at a time of significant change for Australia’s independent brewing sector, with more than 12 breweries entering into voluntary administration and at least three into liquidation over the past 18 months alone. While these turbulent trading conditions have resulted in the closure of some well established venues and breweries such as Lion’s Malt Shovel Brewery and Asahi Beverage’s Matilda Bay brewpub, it has also allowed some newer and smaller breweries to emerge. Notable examples include Chuck Hahn’s new brewery Chuck and Sons, which Drinks Trade visited in May, and WA’s Beerfarm, which recently acquired Feral Brewing from CCEP and appointed Stone & Wood’s former national sales lead

Drinks Trade recently caught up with Beerfarm’s Founder and Managing Director to ask him how Beerfarm has managed to stay in growth while other breweries are suffering. According to Ian Atkins, “there is no secret ingredient. The market is tough. You have to understand every component of manufacturing alcohol, and when I say that, it’s not only the production of the beer, but it’s the distribution of the beer, it’s the hospitality of the beer.

“There are some exceptional people within this industry, and a lot are doing it tough, but there are glimmers of hope of people that are running it as a business and making the right moves, so we’re confident that the market segment will turn around.”

When asked about the biggest mistakes being made by Beerfarm’s competitors, Atkins said that “previously in the beer industry, I think it’s been a blue market, so a lot of people have come into it without a full understanding of the complexities of it. It used to be that you would create a brand and everyone was going to buy that brand. Now, that’s not the case.”

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