004: From selling 10,000 to 200,000 litres of beer annually with a team of 15, after five years of growing the brewery fast he stood down as founding General Manager (Brendan Parnell)

australia brewing fte 11-20 podcast sales $1m-$3m aud tasmania Jan 19, 2020

A few months ago Brendan stepped down as General Manager (GM) of Hobart Brewing Co. (HBC), but remains a Director and shareholder. He knew the next chapter of growth the business needed was going to require different skills and experience to what he had, and some fresh blood.

In late 2014 Brendan met co-founder and Head Brewer, then they brought on-board three other founding shareholders to set up a brewery and bar near the beautiful Hobart waterfront. Being the first tenant at the government-owned land under massive redevelopment over the next 10 – 20 years, Macquarie Point, has been great for the business but also provided challenges. 

Punters not knowing HBC is located in a rusty old abandoned rail yard behind a large hotel meant a solid marketing plan, and great execution, was needed to fuel their amazing growth. 

HBC sells its award-winning beers around Tasmania, a little in Melbourne and a lot at the bar – especially when live music, comedy and other events are on.

This cast covers:

  • the challenges of running a fast-growing and complex business that operates 7 days a week, has multiple sales channels and operates a production space on the edge of their bar;
  • left delegation and focus a little too late;
  • putting your ego aside and knowing when you have taken your role as far as you can, and what is best for the business;
  • importance of marketing, especially when your bar is in a challenging location;
  • how around five hours a week of professional development helped grow in the diverse role of general management;
  • the importance of changing your leadership and management style to get more from your team. 

Music from https://filmmusic.io “Cold Funk” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com). License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)