Directors buy Bedlam Brewery out of administration

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Mitigating factors: trading revenues have been hit hard since March 2020 (credit: Getty/LauriPatterson)
Mitigating factors: trading revenues have been hit hard since March 2020 (credit: Getty/LauriPatterson)

Related tags Craft beer Finance Beer Cellar management

East Sussex craft beer brewer Bedlam Brewery has been acquired out of administration by several of the business’s directors but will be run with a skeleton staff.

Bedlam confirmed it had entered administration on Friday 17 February despite sales in 2022 being up 40% versus 2021, marking an end to its 11 years of trading.

The brewery, which is based in Plumpton Green, 10 miles north of Brighton, said: “Following an open and rigorous sales process undertaken by the administrators and their agents, a new company, Renatus Brewing, owned by several of the company’s directors, has acquired the Bedlam brand, our award-winning beers and all the current stock.

“This will ensure continuity of supply and retention of key personnel, albeit with a skeleton team in the near-term including Danny Hoskins, our sales director, Clark Coslett-Hughes, our lead brewer and Chris Mabbott, our lead drayman.”

Challenging climate

The brewery’s High Tide session pale ale (3.8% ABV) was named best national ‘Keg Session IPA’ by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) last year but it estimated some 18 months’ worth of trading revenues have been lost since March 2020 as a result of the pandemic and, more recently, the cost-of-living crisis.

A statement from the brewery added: “In the current challenging climate, our customers understandably have less to spend on discretionary items such as beer in pubs and/or at home so are, of course, drawn to the unfairly low-priced products on offer in supermarkets that are able to subsidise sales through other parts of their businesses.”

It said input costs have increased materially over the past 12 months, including ingredients, packaging and utilities, all of which have conspired to decimate the company’s finances.

Bedlam said: “We are acutely aware our entering into administration has a massive impact on the company’s shareholders who have been incredibly generous throughout our history, our suppliers and on our wonderful team, but we are doing everything we can to ensure minimal impact to our customers.”

Minimal disruption

It continued: “We are optimistic that any disruption will be minimal to our customers, and we would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of you for your continued support, it is not taken for granted.

“We are determined to continue to produce our fabulous beers and service our loyal customers. Watch this space, our story is not over yet, it is just the end of this chapter.”

According to Beer Nouveau, Bedlam Brewery is the 95th small craft brewery to close since the start of 2022 while industry estimates suggest more than 30 pubs per month have closed over the past 12 months.

Bedlam said: “Please do look after your local pub, craft brewery or other producer, we would hate more of our friends and colleagues in the industry to go through what we just have.”

Related topics Beer

Related news

Show more