The North Yorkshire brewer and pub operator yesterday (Wednesday 3 May) announced it had filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators as discussions around its potential sale “progress”.
CAMRA real ale cider and perry campaigns director Gillian Hough said: "The fact that one of the UK's most recognisable independent family brewers has put out a notice to appoint administrators shows just how serious the cost-of-business crisis is for brewers and cider makers.
“Despite some support being available, CAMRA believes the Government simply hasn't done enough to ensure brewers are not forced to close by events beyond their control.”
Black Sheep Brewery last month recruited Teneo as its financial adviser as part of a “strategic review” to explore funding options with a view to take the business forward amid prevailing economic conditions.
A statement from the brewery explained the decision had been taken to “protect the business and its creditors”.
While Black Sheep is no longer seeking a possible acquisition, as stated when the review was commenced, it is considering the “sale of the business and assets of the company”.
Hough added: “Black Sheep is still actively brewing and producing beer, while their board are working hard to secure a sale of the business which will protect jobs and ensure they can continue to trade.
“Black Sheep ales appear regularly at CAMRA events and their cask range is a much-loved sight at bars across the nation’s pubs, so we hope a solution can be found which secures Black Sheep's future."
The brewery’s statement added no shares would be traded on Asset Match until further notice and that an auction previously scheduled for Wednesday 24 May 2023 had been suspended.
Black Sheep Brewery chief executive and chair Charlene Lyons said: “The business has been hit very hard by the pandemic and the sudden rise in all costs.
“Covid loans were useful but, in the end, could not sufficiently compensate for reduced cash flow in the long term.
“It has been the perfect storm, but the team are confident that with a new structure Black Sheep will thrive and grow as the team set course in a new direction.”