One of Liverpool’s best-known breweries has been saved after falling into administration – with its new owners vowing to keep brewing in the city.
Liverpool Organic Brewery was founded in 2008 and became known for real ales named after local heroes, including Josephine Butler and Kitty Wilkinson.
But the Kirkdale-based company suffered financial problems and went into administration earlier this month. The company blamed increased competition from breweries large and small for its fall in sales.
Now it has been sold as a going concern to Bath-based Circus Holdings – and its new owner says it will continue “to stimulate the craft beer revolution in Liverpool”.
Jason Greenhalgh and Paul Stanley of restructuring firm Begbies Traynor were appointed joint administrators at LOB on March 15.
In a statement today, Begbies Traynor said: “The rise in the number of micro breweries and the major breweries entering the craft beer market led to stiffer competition and a decrease in the sales over a period of time.
“The company began to experience financial difficulties and increased creditor pressure and with a deadline set by HMRC to revoke its wholesalers licence, directors called in Begbies Traynor.”
Begbies Traynor put the brewery up for sale and has now agreed a deal to sell its business and assets to Circus.
Jason Greenhalgh, partner at Begbies Traynor, said: “As a CAMRA member I was encouraged to see the high level of interest we received in the business when we marketed it for sale.
“I am delighted we have achieved a sale which will hopefully see the brewery and the various products continue to be produced in Liverpool for many years to come.”
Jeff Arundell, chairman of Circus Group, said: “We are delighted to announce that we have successfully completed the purchase of Liverpool Organic Brewery Ltd from Begbies Traynor within the budgets and timescales originally envisaged.
“We are delighted with this deal and we are happy to play a role in continuing to stimulate the craft beer revolution in Liverpool.”
Mark Hensby, the founder of Liverpool Organic Brewery, said: “I am delighted a sale has been secured by Begbies Traynor and that the Liverpool Organic Brewery brand will continue in Liverpool.”
Begbies Traynor said LOB’s sister company Real Ale Events, which was set up by Mr Hensby in 2015 to organise beer festivals in Liverpool and around the country, is not affected by this sale.