‘All our taps are completely dry’: Australian pubs run out of beer after a cyber attack disrupted production at one of the country’s biggest breweries

  • West End Brewery was forced closed after Lion Australia suffered a cyber attack
  • The brewery has been closed for a week with pubs in Adelaide out of tap beer 
  • Affects of the cyber attack are set to be felt in stock shortages across Australia
  • Lion Australia said they are working hard to bring their breweries back online 

Australia’s pubs have started to run out of draught beer after a ransomware attack caused a major brewery to shut down.

The West End Brewery in Thebarton in Adelaide was forced to temporarily stop beer production on June 9 after parent company Lion Australia suffered a cyber attack.

After a week with no product from the brewery, numerous pubs in the Adelaide area have recorded a shortage in beer kegs.

Publican Sam Ferguson from the Southwark Hotel at Thebarton told The Advertiser his taps have run dry.

‘All our taps are completely empty,’ he said.

The Southwark Hotel in Thebarton (pictured) is completely out of draught beer after the West End Brewery was forced to close

The Southwark Hotel in Thebarton (pictured) is completely out of draught beer after the West End Brewery was forced to close

Mr Ferguson ordered nine kegs and only received three in his last delivery, forcing him to move his customers onto bottled beer.

‘(There’s) no Iron Jack on tap. No Boag’s Premium deliveries. No Heineken deliveries. You can’t get draught beer,’ he said.

Lion Australia produces several popular beers including XXXX Gold, Hahn, Tooheys and James Boag’s, with disruptions from the cyber attack to be seen across the country.

Australian Hotels Association SA general manager Ian Horne said all licensed venues will be impacted through stock shortages.

‘Certainly every hotel would be impacted to a greater or lesser extent but they’re working through it,’ he said.

Lion Australia shut down its IT operations following the attack on Tuesday and said there is no evidence personal information from their system has been impacted.

Publican Sam Ferguson from the Southwark Hotel (pictured) has been forced to move his customers onto packaged beer

Publican Sam Ferguson from the Southwark Hotel (pictured) has been forced to move his customers onto packaged beer

The brewers released a statement outlining their progress on Monday. 

‘Our investigations have shown that a partial IT system outage at Lion is a result of a ransomware attack,’ the statement reads. ‘In response, we immediately shut down key systems as a precaution.

‘Our IT teams and expert cyber advisors have continued working throughout the weekend to investigate this incident, working to bring systems back online safely.

‘We have made good progress, however there is still some way to go before we can resume our normal manufacturing operations and customer service.

‘Across our Australian and New Zealand adult beverages businesses, we continue to have limited visibility of our products in our systems.

‘We’re working to bring our breweries back online as soon as possible, hoping to get a number of our breweries back up and running very soon.

The West End Brewery (pictured) ceased beer production on June 9 after parent company Lion Australia suffered a cyber attack

The West End Brewery (pictured) ceased beer production on June 9 after parent company Lion Australia suffered a cyber attack

‘We apologise to our consumers and customers, especially those who are only just getting their own venues back up and running following COVID-19 closures.

‘We thank them for their patience as we do everything we can to get back to normal supply levels.

‘While our systems are offline, we have worked very hard to be able to supply a limited number of key products to our customers.

‘We will continue to accept and fulfill orders as best we can, using interim manual processes where we need to.’

Most pubs across Australia only reopened in the last two weeks when coronavirus restrictions were eased to allow 50 customers at a time.

Licensed venues around Australia are set to feel the effects of the closure of West End Brewery (stock image)

Licensed venues around Australia are set to feel the effects of the closure of West End Brewery (stock image)

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