Well-known Greek Australian brewery closes down due to Melbourne lockdown

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Melbourne’s Fall & Rise Brewing has made the difficult decision to sell the business after less than a year in operation due to the economic impact caused by COVID-19.

Established by Greek-Australian’s, Petros Gyftopoulos and Yiannis Psimoulis, late last year, the sale of Fall & Rise includes recipes, trademark and their database.

While head brewer, Yiannis, is now moving back to Greece to be with his family, Petros told Beer & Brewer they wouldn’t be making this call if there was a guaranteed end in sight to Melbourne’s lockdown period.

Head brewer, Yiannis, is now moving back to Greece to be with his family. Photo: Fall & Rise Brewing Facebook page.

“If there was some light at the end of the tunnel, I think almost certainly, the decision would be different,” Petros said.

“If someone could guarantee that on November 26 Melbourne would move out of lockdown, that would be something for me to hold on to.

“But there is no one who can say that now. We do not know when the vaccine is coming. We don’t know if Melbourne is going to have less than five cases a day to allow us to even move out of a state of lockdown.”

Fall & Rise had been contract brewing at Cockies Beer in Geelong and to date, had released two of their own beers: The Rise – a hoppy Kölsch; and Dorchae – an Irish stout.

Most recently, they even collaborated on an Alliance oatmeal stout with fellow Melbourne brewery Urban Alley.

Fall & Rise had released two of their own beers: The Rise – a hoppy Kölsch; and Dorchae – an Irish stout. They collaborated on an Alliance oatmeal stout with fellow Melbourne brewery Urban Alley. Photo: Fall & Rise Brewing Facebook page.

Everything had been going to plan, Petros said.

They had built brand awareness and established distribution networks with the likes of Blackhearts & Sparrows bottle shops in Melbourne and Canberra and online stores Bucket Boys and Beer Cartel.

In early March, they were ready to take the next step and find their own location to brew in-house. Then COVID hit.

“Breweries are shutting and the economy is struggling and it just isn’t the right time for us to be taking the next step,” Petros said.

“Continuing to contract brew just isn’t the right decision either right now. We are one of the victims of COVID’s financial impact and we just have to move on.”

However, does this really mark the final chapter in Petros and Yiannis’ brewing dream? Petros said it’s too early to tell but they had no regrets.

“When you have a start-up, you see it like your baby and I don’t want to see it die – even if it is in the hands of someone else,” Petros said.

“We have full time jobs, but for nine months we were finishing those at five o’clock and then working late hours on Fall & Rise. On weekends too. But we loved every minute of it.

“I do not regret doing it because the joy and the excitement and satisfaction of seeing our products in the market and people loving them, you can’t compare that feeling.”

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