UK craft breweries Brick Brewery and Brew By Numbers have both signaled their intent to appoint administrators.
Notices of intent to appoint administrators were filed to court on behalf of the directors of Brew By Numbers and Brick Brewery on 5 May and 28 April respectively. At the time of writing, neither company has publicly acknowledged the moves.
The notices give both breweries ten days in which no creditor can take any legal action against them for outstanding debts.
If a solution is not found to the two south London businesses’ immediate financial problems, both will enter administration, becoming the latest casualties among small, independent brewers in the UK. This week, Yorkshire’s Black Sheep Brewery said it would appoint administrators after having failed to attract new investment.
Brew By Numbers was founded by Tom Hutchings and David Seymour in Bermondsey, south-east London, in 2011. The brewery moved production of its beers to a new 6,000-square-foot refurbished warehouse in Greenwich in late 2021.
Seymour resigned from the company in 2019, while Hutchings remains the company’s sole managing director.
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When approached by Just Drinks, Brew By Numbers declined to comment.
The 5 May filing was the third such notice the brewery has made in the space of little over a month, suggesting a deal to restructure or sell the company is in progress.
Brick Brewery, meanwhile, has filed notices of intent on two occasions, on 28 and 17 April.
The brewery was founded by Ian and Sally Stewart in 2013 in a railway arch behind Peckham Rye station, south-east London. Production later moved to a dedicated facility in Deptford, while a taproom has remained located at the original site.
The brewery did not respond to Just Drinks’ request for comment.
Craft breweries in the UK have struggled in the last twelve months and rising energy and raw material costs, coupled with a competitive trading environment and soaring rents, have led many to close their doors.
Speaking after Black Sheep’s announcement earlier this week, The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) said the UK government “hasn’t done enough” to ensure breweries were not being forced into closure due to events beyond their control.
CAMRA’s real ale cider and perry campaigns director Gillian Hough said: “The fact that one of the UK’s most recognisable independent family brewers has put out a notice to appoint administrators shows just how serious the cost-of-business crisis is for brewers and cider makers.
“Despite some support being available, CAMRA believes that government simply hasn’t done enough to ensure that brewers are not forced to close by events beyond their control.”
In December, Somerset outfit The Wild Beer Co. entered administration after falling victim to trading woes at home and abroad. The brand was later revived by Kent’s Curious Brewery but the majority of the company’s staff were laid off. Investors in the company’s £1.8m crowdfunding campaign in 2017 also saw their equity stake written off.
Other breweries to have closed in the last year include Alphabet Brewing Co. and Boxcar Brewing Co.