The century-old Manjimup Hotel and Brewery will needs an outside investor to remain sustainable, according to its owner, who admits he has considered putting the entire hospitality empire on the market. Co-owner Ed Fallens, who took over the chain 18 months ago — which includes the hotel, brewery, Tall Timbers restaurant and bottle shop — said unless their was further investment into the franchise from an outside source, he would be forced to sell. “I feel as though the town and my staff need more than I can deliver unless I can add the right shareholders to the table,’” he said. “I have the most amazing, loyal staff and customers, they all believe in my commitment to deliver a brewery, cidery, accommodation, hospitality and tourism venture that takes Manjimup to the next level.” The historic hotel opened in 1912 and operated purely as an accommodation and entertainment venue until 1971 when Swan Brewery invested $1 million into the establishment by building a brewery on the side of the hotel. Mr Fallen said the plan was to transform the Manjimup Hotel into a tourism stronghold for the South West region, but a change of ownership soon after works were completed stymied these plans from eventuating. Since Mr Fallen took over the multiple businesses, he has tried to get those plans off of the ground, including the distribution of Tall Timbers beer to more than 20 venues and 40 bottle shops in WA, and now says further investment from a potential partner is needed as the financial cost is too much for himself alone. “If I can not find the right investors, then I will step aside and sell up completely for the good of the town,” he said. “I urge anyone who thinks they have what it takes to help me complete the project to reach out and explore our options.” One of the venues Mr Fallen operates is the popular Tall Timbers wine bar and restaurant across the road from the hotel on Giblett Street, which hosts numerous events during South West festivals including the Truffle Kerfuffle and Southern Forests and Valleys Wine Show. He said the wine bar was a stand out venue for travellers and locals alike because of its Melbourne-style interior, including state-of-the-art enomatic wine serving system and fine cuisine. Mr Fallens said he sees Manjimup’s prosperity as a hospitality and tourism hot spot linked directly to expansion of the new brewery and partially renovated hotel, with hope of the Tall Timbers restaurant becoming a taphouse, wine tasting centre and truffle tourism experience for guests. Mr Fallens said there was a rare opportunity for an investor to “own the town” in terms of hospitality and brewing, as Tall Timbers controls the only two hotel and tavern licences in the town centre. “The commanding presence in the centre of the main street combined with WA’s love of Manjimup means that the Tall Timbers Brewing Co brand is destined to become a household name throughout Western Australia, if it continues to be operated and marketed correctly,” he said. “But we need help to expand.” The publican said he believes that with the help of a large hospitality group, an investor or big local farmer, the Manjimup Hotel and Brewery‘s future prosperity will be the springboard for the town’s ongoing success in attracting both workers and visitors. The hard-working pub operator said one thing he was proud of was the tireless effort in attracting workers to Manjimup during the COVID-19 lockdowns at the start of the pandemic. He said when local farmers were faced with the prospect of dumping much of WA’s fruit and vegetables, he organised a rally in Manjimup with placards saying ‘we need workers, save our farms’. Media coverage of the rally resulted in a flood of workers and the last remaining backpackers converging on Manjimup, which helped save much of Perth’s fruit and vegetable supplies for Christmas. Mr Fallens said he gave free accommodation to 80 backpackers at the Manjimup hotel with the help of church groups, business and community members during the initial COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.