Plans to build venue providing contract brewing services for aspiring beer makers have fallen in a heap.
Plans to build venue providing contract brewing services for aspiring beer makers have fallen in a heap.

Plans for $15m beer venture collapse

BREWING BUST

He talked a good game, vowing to build a $15m complex in Brisbane which would have been the city's largest venue providing contract brewing capacity for aspiring beer makers.

But the plans trumpeted three years ago by entrepreneur Shaun Lockwood to develop Brisbane Brew Partners have all fallen in a heap--and he's gone to great lengths to wipe clean any mention of it on social media.

The Morningside-based project never got off the ground, with the industrial site in the Colmslie Business Park used since mid-2019 as just a warehouse-style pub with live music.

Even that venture, trading as Keg and Cork, has ground to a halt and the property is now for sale or lease.

Records show Lockwood and his missus, Kelly, agreed to pay $1.54m for the property in early 2018 and settled on the deal in December that year.

Shaun Lockwood
Shaun Lockwood

It came on the market last month so City Beat was curious to find out if there was much interest from potential buyers.

But real estate agent Dave Highman couldn't help us. "The owner has asked me not to comment,'' he said this week, in another sign of the secrecy cloaking the venture.

Lockwood, a 51-year-old Pom, had originally flagged plans for a full brewhouse, complete with fermenters and tanks for single and double batches, a lab for quality control and extra-large cool room for storage. Packaging options were set to include kegs, bottle and cans.

"The unique thing about Brisbane Brew Partners is that our brewers will be partners with us. We want to incubate them,'' Lockwood said at the time.

While some of the equipment was eventually installed, it's understood that no actual brewing ever took place. Equally, a planned $5m fund to support start-up brewers went nowhere.

Meanwhile, the Lockwoods remain the sole directors and owners of Beyond Childcare, an industry development company they launched in 2012.

The couple have acquired properties and then built child care centres in at least two Brisbane suburbs over the past five years, making a hefty profit after flipping both of them.

They bought an Auchenflower block for $2m in 2015 and sold it less than a year later for $4.4m, records reveal.

The pair also shelled out $1m for a Balmoral site in 2015 and then offloaded it for $4.88m in early 2019.

Neither of the Lockwoods could be reached for comment.

TAXI GROUP REVS UP

Freshly cashed-up Black & White Cabs plans to launch a new meal delivery service in March in tandem with start-up Ozfoodhunter, which is aiming to expand across south east Queensland.

The Brisbane-based company has also snared new government contracts and launched a campaign to recruit more drivers, long-time boss Greg Webb revealed on Wednesday.

Webb confirmed that he and a group of fellow investors had just tipped $3m into the taxi business following the collapse of its parent company, P2P Transport, and two subsidiaries last month with debts of about $27m.

Greg Webb
Greg Webb

The deal to purchase the nationwide cab empire got over the line this week through a "deed of company arrangement''.

Webb said he now plans to expand Black & White's network of more than 3000 drivers across all its locations in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and WA.

Webb, who has a 25 year history with the firm, controlled a 26 per cent stake in the business when he sold the booking service to P2P for $8.1m in cash and shares in 2018.

He also took on a board role at P2P, which raised nearly $30m from investors in 2017 ahead on an ASX float.

Before its demise, P2P oversaw a national network of about 2400 vehicles, including chauffeured corporate services and ride share options.

BATTERY WIN

One of the world's top researchers in lithium-ion batteries has been tapped to play a key role with a Brisbane firm surfing the renewable power wave.

Novonix announced this week that it had retained Nova Scotia-based Professor Jeff Dahn as its chief scientific adviser.

He will also continue his work with Elon Musk's Tesla, fuelling continued speculation that a tie up between Novonix and the electric car maker may eventuate.

Jeff Dahn
Jeff Dahn

Dahn already has longstanding ties to Novonix, a battery materials enterprise which was originally spun out of his research group by Dr Chris Burns while completing his PhD.

Burns took on the group CEO role late last year as part of a management reshuffle at Novonix, which continues to suffer huge annual losses but enjoys the backing of Rich Lister energy titan Trevor St Baker.

After raising $58m of fresh equity last May, the company announced a breakthrough the following month in efforts to create an ultra-long life batter for electric cars.

Both Tesla and GM are focused on the ambitious goal of creating a model good for a million miles.

The Novonix share price has surged from a mere 15c last March to just over $2 on Wednesday.

15 YEARS LATER

Sunshine Coast legal eagle Lisa Aitken has come a long way since she rolled the dice 15 years ago this month.

It was back then that she bailed out on an 11-year stint with Minter Ellison, where she specialised in human resources and IR issues in both Brisbane and Sydney.

Striking out on her own in 2006, she set up a home office to give it a go, specialising in employment issues.

Lisa Aitken
Lisa Aitken

Today, her Aitken Legal has offices in the Sunshine and Gold coasts, as well as a new outpost in Melbourne.

She has a thriving practice providing advice only to employers navigating an often confusing thicket of laws covering their workers.

 

 

Last year, as the firm snared a place on the state government's Legal Services Panel for workplace and industrial matters, it kept busy doling out advice on how to deal with pandemic-related challenges.

As JobKeeper supports winds down this year, Aitken expects to see to a fresh uptick in unfair dismissal claims in the months ahead.

Originally published as Plans for $15m Brisbane beer venture collapse


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