A union has called on the South Australian government to offer financial support to workers who will lose their jobs when the historic West End brewery in Adelaide closes next year.

The 160-year-old business will close in June with the loss of about 90 production jobs.

However, parent company Lion will continue to produce West End beer interstate for sale in SA.

Premier Steven Marshall has described the closure as a sad time for the state and federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has attributed Lion’s move to the rise of craft beers sales in Australia.

Lion will pay out the workers’ entitlements and has also offered $1 million to help them re-skill.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union has urged the state government to match that fund.

“We stand with the workers who found out yesterday that they’re losing their jobs in the worst economic circumstances we’ve seen in three decades,” AMWU assistance state secretary Stuart Gordon said.


“This is a very difficult time for them, their families, and their communities.”

Lion said the West End facility had been operating well below capacity for some time and was no longer viable.

“We have come to this proposal as the best way to ensure we have a sustainable brewing network for the future,” the company said in a statement.

“Our input costs have continued to rise against this backdrop of declining volume, and a further drop in draught beer sales as a result of the pandemic.”