A Williamstown microbrewery that was being investigated by Hobsons Bay council was destroyed by a fire last Wednesday.
Firefighters were called to Crazy Horse Brewing Co. in Nelson Place shortly before 8pm.
They found a fire in two sheds containing brewing equipment.
Investigators determined the fire was caused by an electrical fault in fixed wiring.
Crazy Horse Brewing won a bronze medal for its saison at the Australian International Beer Awards. The brew is on tap at several local hotels and yacht clubs.
The business had recently come to the council’s attention for not having required permits.
Hobsons Bay strategic development director Natalie Walker said notices were issued on October 15.
“Council’s planning enforcement and health officers were investigating the use of the shed building without the required planning and food registration permits,” she said.
Crazy Horse Brewing co-owner Jack Davis said the business had a planning permit but had not received the documentation it needed from the council for food safety permits.
“There was an inspection done in early September and since then we haven’t got any notification,” he said.
“Because we were subletting we never got any of the direct mail to that address.
“At the end of the day, we lost close to $15,000 to $20,000 worth of equipment [because of the fire] and we have no insurance. We’re running at a massive loss now. We physically can’t brew to make it back. We can’t even prep for festivals that we have ready in the next two months – we’re having to cancel those.
“This fire has basically devastated that opportunity for us.”
He said he and brewery co-owner Vittorio Solano had always worked on being “above-board”.
“That’s what we’ve always strived for,” he said.
“This kind of thing is just something that we didn’t think would ever happen but it has.
“But regarding the legalities from the council’s point of view, we’ve attempted to be above-board in every capacity.”