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Brothers Beer back from brink as it gets new owners

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 25 Jun 2024, 9:28pm
Brothers Beer says it has survived, despite taking some serious blows, and is now under new ownership.
Brothers Beer says it has survived, despite taking some serious blows, and is now under new ownership.

Brothers Beer back from brink as it gets new owners

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 25 Jun 2024, 9:28pm

Craft brewer Brothers Beer and Juke Joint BBQ say they have found new owners after going into liquidation.

The Auckland brewer was one of several craft operators to face financial trouble in the past 12 months.

But today it said despite some complications, it had found new owners after liquidators were appointed last month.

Kasber Limited is now the owner. Kasber’s directors, according to the Companies Office, are Qi Long of Mt Eden and Bin Zhou of Hobsonville. Kasber was incorporated last October.

Seven Long has been appointed managing director.

Brothers Beer said PwC was able to continue operations at the Mt Eden brewery and bar, and now its team and new owners hoped for a promising future for the business.

“The year 2023 presented Brothers Beer with economic struggles that prompted a period of voluntary administration from August,” the company said.

“Despite their best efforts to turn things around, the company was unfortunately liquidated on May 24th by PwC, who were able to secure a sale of the business, continue operations of the bar and brewery throughout the process, and retain a number of the core team members.”

Some staff lost their jobs in redundancies and Brothers Beer divested from its last remaining satellite site, the Juke Joint bar and restaurant at Piha Surf Life Saving Club.

“Brothers Beer had previously navigated the difficult decision to part ways with City Works Depot, Onehunga, Ōrākei, Birkenhead, and Commercial Bay during the administration period.”

The brewer said its new and streamlined incarnation would mean a focus on its Mt Eden base.

The new owners had a facelift planned for the site.

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Brothers Beer said it would continue ongoing wholesale relationships with retail and on-premises customers, and planned to expand on export markets.

“We extend our gratitude to our community for its unwavering support during these trying times.

“We also express our deepest appreciation to our dedicated staff who have stood by us through these challenging times, and join the new business owners in looking towards a brighter future,” the company said.

“Brothers Beer is still standing – we are still open, and the beer is the best it’s ever been.”

The company said Brothers Beer was dedicated to crafting exceptional brews and fostering a vibrant community space.

It said Juke Joint paid homage to “American Low and Slow BBQ”.

Brothers Beer started operating in the early 2010s, managing a brewery and operating seven gastropub-style restaurants across Auckland.

Founders Anthony Browne and Andy Larsen sold products through their venues and to supermarkets and liquor stores.

At one point the brewer had about 200 flavours on offer and reportedly employed about 70 staff.

Covid lockdowns and inflation were previously cited as damaging the business.

The PwC accountants talked to suppliers and the group’s secured lender.

Non-performing hospitality sites were closed immediately and staff were redeployed where it was possible.

Other brewers facing trouble in the past year included Epic, which went into liquidation last July.

Liquidators were appointed to Deep Creek in October.

And the Herald in February reported Morningside’s Cowabunga Breweries had called in liquidators.

“Beer is an industry that trades on tight margins and demands high volumes for assured success,” beer writer Michael Donaldson wrote in a craft beer special feature last September.

“A post-Covid hangover, and its lasting impact on hospitality, coupled with rampant inflation, have combined to put unbearable pressure on those margins.”

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