In what’s becoming a theme in the beer world, the Akasha Brewing Company has undergone a change in ownership.
Founded by Dave Padden and Wesley White, Akasha launched in 2015 as a gypsy brewing company while their own brewery was being constructed in Five Dock, a few suburbs west of the Sydney CBD.
Helped by a range of high quality, hop forward beers – and partly on the back of head brewer Dave’s reputation for masterminding such beers during his time at the Riverside brewery, which he also co-founded – Akasha grew quickly, becoming a favourite across Sydney and increasingly up and down the east coast.
Today a public statement sent on behalf of the brewery announced that Wesley has relinquished his share of the business.
The statement reads: “Wesley has made this very difficult decision due to personal and family reasons and was especially concerned with the impact this had on the brewery and the future of the staff.
“He will be sorely missed having made a significant contribution to the business from the beginning and has been instrumental in it's success to date. We wish him every success with his next venture.”
His moving on has presented an opportunity for outside investors to buy into the business and several of these have ended up coming from the inside: Akasha’s own employees.
On this, the statement says: “Akasha Brewing is 100% independently owned and with this latest change in ownership has ensured a large proportion of shareholders are brewery employees.
“They are very excited about the opportunity of being involved in the ownership of the brewery, and the entire team look forward to continuing Akasha Brewing's vision of brewing world-class, hop-driven beers.”
In an environment where the norm for brewery sales has seemingly become either selling to one of the global giants or an otherwise anonymous investment group, a move towards a more cooperative model represents a progressive change.
It’s part of a growing trend worldwide where in-house ownership has become a response to the increasingly partisan divide brewing between "big beer" and "independent beer", particularly in the USA but also here in Australia where Stone & Wood recently announced an increase in the number of employees who are now also shareholders.