Ailing brewery seeks new owner

A struggling brewery which employs 12 people has been put up for sale by its directors. Clare Brewing Company, known as the Nethergate Brewery, which has a £2million turnover, is to be sold as a going concern.

Business rescue and insolvency specialist McTear Williams & Wood said it had been instructed to act for the business, and says it wants to hear from people interested in buying the small brewery and safeguarding its jobs. The award-winning business, based in The Street, Pentlow, was established nearly 30 years ago and sold to its current shareholders in 2010.

Chris McKay, a partner at McTear Williams & Wood, said the brewery had been struggling financially. He said the shareholders had invested in it “significantly”, undertaken cost-saving measures and appointed a new managing director. But the brewery had been unable to recover and was now seeking a buyer. He added: “We expect this business to be intensely sought after and have already received expressions of interest from prospective purchasers. “We are hopeful that a successful transition of ownership will safeguard jobs.”

When contacted, brewery managing director Steve Wilkinson said he had nothing further to add. Nethergate Brewery has won many prestigious awards, including Winter Beer of Britain, Brewery of the Year in 2012 and Speciality Category Supreme Champion Beer of Great Britain in 2013. It makes around 60 different varieties of beer, producing 1.7million pints of beer a year and supplying up to 400 pubs in the free trade with barrels of cask ale served from pumps. It also produces a range of beers for the East of England Co-op. The brewery likes to produce beer for special occasions – these have included one called Royal Service to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee and one for the Olympics called Britain’s Best. Its well-known beers are Growler bitter and Old Growler.

Suffolk Free Press
13 March 2014

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