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North Brewing Company appoints administrators

The Leeds brewer and bar operator has filed a Notice of Intention to appoint an administrator despite doubling its brewing capacity in recent years.

North Brewing Company has moved to appoint Atle Crowe-Maxwell as administrator as it attempts to navigate through financial difficulties.

In March 2022 North owed £2.7 million to creditors following its relocation in 2020 to a bigger site, and opening its Tap Room, which has room for 500 customers.

The brewer was also dealt a blow in 2022 when Event Genius, the company that was meant to be providing tickets for North’s first beer festival, went into administration, leaving North “completely shocked” and “blindsided” and out of pocket to the tune of £25,000. The brewer set up a Crowdfunding plea, raising £8,000 in the first 12 hours, and vowed the festival would still go ahead.

At the time North Brewing Co. co-founder told db: “We’re down. But we’re not out.”

Plans to break the US

Things seemed to be looking up for the company when in April 2023 it was able to secure £375,000 in funding from Bibby Financial Services (BFS) to expand its business internationally.

Speaking to the drinks business at the time, North Brewing Co co-founder John Gyngell said: “The support gives us the breathing space to concentrate on what we’re best at, plan ahead for business growth over the next few years and have more time to enjoy the day job, which we absolutely love…. within the next three months we’re launching in the US.”

However, he admitted that, “as a business owner, cashflow is a daily concern, especially over the past 12 months” and said that it has been “a really tough year for the brewing industry.”

Commenting on North suddenly entering administration one Reddit member said: “Wild, I assumed they were flying, unless it’s a case of too much too soon?Alternatively, it could be that the administration is to clear debt for an acquisition.”

Another user commented: “Well this is incredibly shit, they transformed beer drinking in Leeds and arguably in the UK.”

Owned and run by John Gyngell and Christian Townsley, North Brewing’s North Bar is often cited as Britain’s first craft beer venue.

Earlier this month, db reported that Liverpool’s Love Lane Brewery has been bought out of administration by White Real Estate in a deal that saved the business from folding.

Love Lane reportedly owed more than £1.5m to its creditors before it was saved in June 2022 when former Iceland boss Nick Canning invested a further £300,000 in the company. However, despite its efforts, last October the business faced administration for the second time.

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