Jobs lost as Birmingham brewery and bar goes under

Credit: North Taproom

15 jobs have been lost at Snow Hill’s North Taproom after its parent firm entered administration.

Covid-19 had damaged the group’s financial performance, as Government restrictions forced the business to close for extended periods of time between 2020 and 2022.

In more recent months, the group had also faced rising costs including energy, labour, and raw materials, which had impacted its cashflow.

Two North Brewing sites based in Leeds and Manchester have however been rescued Steve Holt of Kirkstall Brewery, securing the jobs of 78 employees. 

Steve Holt and the founders of Leeds-based North Brewing (John Gyngell & Christian Townsley) were pioneers in developing the craft beer market in the UK. 

As the market developed, both Kirkstall and North Brewing expanded their businesses as brewers and retailers.

North Brewing will continue to be an independent brewery operating from its Springwell site and will be run by the existing management team.

The group supplied several supermarkets and casual dining chains nationally, as well as exporting to 27 countries, trading through its own taprooms and bars and selling to pubs and bars across the country either directly or via beer wholesalers.

A Notice of Intention to appoint an administrator was filed by North Brewing earlier this month.

Gyngell said: “We are pleased to have found a solution for our team and the legacy of the North brand.”

Holt said: “We’ve been friends and industry colleagues for almost 30 years. North is an iconic beer brand that had to continue.

“Together we’ll make sure that North will continue to make some of the best beer in the country.”

Townsley added: “This has been an absolutely torrid time for the brewing industry which has faced the fallout from Covid, cost of living crisis, inflation, Brexit and utility price increases. 

“We recognise that this has been a really difficult time for the stakeholders and creditors. The new company will be known as Vertical Drinks Ltd T/A North.”

Howard Smith and Rick Harrison of Interpath Advisory were appointed advisors of North Brewing Company Ltd, North Brewing Leisure and North Brewing Management Ltd on 25 January 2024.

Charles Boyne of Weightmans Solicitors represented North. A team from Lupton Fawcett Solicitors lead by corporate partner Dan McCormack acted for Kirkstall Brewery.

Tom Swiers, head of food and drink at Interpath Advisory, said: “North Brewing Co is a renowned craft brewer that has forged an excellent reputation over the years for the quality and innovation of its beers.

“We are pleased to have completed this transaction which represents an exciting tie up of brilliant beer brands based here in Leeds.

“The deal will allow the group to move forward under new ownership and we wish the purchaser and the management team all the best for the future.

“We’d also like to thank our advisors for their work in helping drive this transaction to a successful conclusion.”