Serial Entrepreneur’s West End Distillery Plunges into Liquidation

Brisbane Distillery Company

After leaving the army, Jon Atherton made a lucrative business selling memberships to a porn site. Then he successfully launched an iPhone app that showcased “wobbling body parts” to interested viewers. Today it seems that luck has not smiled on Mr Atherton for a third time as his latest venture, the Brisbane Distillery Company, folds.

After a recent court case that forced the business out of its premises due to unpaid rent, the Brisbane Distillery Company has entered into liquidation, with a hefty unsettled debt to creditors of over $1.3 million. 

Daniel Moore, from BCR Advisory, has taken on the role of liquidator for the beleaguered distillery company. 

Documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) by Mr Moore exposed debts of over $420,000 owed to the Australian Taxation Office.

Adding to the mounting problems were the outstanding amounts owed to the landlord and suppliers.

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Jon Atherton founded the Brisbane Distillery Company in 2019 after leaving the army and enjoying success selling memberships to porn websites.

However, trouble soon arose when a court ordered the company to vacate its premises in May because Mr Atherton failed to pay the rent. The landlord claimed he had forcefully reclaimed the property after the locks were changed.

Mr Atherton staunchly denied any involvement in breaking into the building, insisting that he did nothing wrong. He explained that the past few years had been tough for the business due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a devastating flood that caused significant damage and losses.

In an effort to recoup some money, the company decided to sell its special double-decker bus in April. Painted navy blue and equipped with a full bar, the bus could accommodate up to 30 people, offering a unique drinking experience.

Before delving into the world of distilleries, Mr Atherton was known for selling memberships to porn websites through Spotwire Pty Ltd in the 1990s, boasting an impressive customer base of 92,983 individuals, each billed at $US21 ($AU30.8).

A serial entrepreneur, his ventures then extended beyond the adult entertainment industry into app development, where he gained notoriety with the controversial iPhone app “Wobble.” 

This app allowed users to manipulate images, specifically wobbling body parts in their iPhone camera rolls. Its popularity soared, topping Japan’s App charts in 2009 with over 20,000 downloads in ten days.

However, this success was not without its share of controversy, as Apple requested the removal of references to “Boobs” and “Booty,” a request Mr Atherton firmly disputed.

Published 24-July-2023