More breweries close amid continuing pressures

Several more breweries have shuttered, as external headwinds continue to hit the industry.

Birmingham’s Dig Brew Co, Bad Seed Brewery in Malton and Bishop Auckland’s Hops and Dots are the latest to close, in what has been a devastating few months for craft beer.

The team behind Dig Brew Co announced on Instagram that they “cannot carry on any longer and we will no longer be open to the public”. Meanwhile, the founders of Bad Seed said in a statement that the combination of Covid, the cost-of-living crisis, societal and market changes had proved “terminal” for the business, while Hops and Dots said today on Twitter that the brewery had entered liquidation.

The latest closures follow a slew of others in the sector, including retailers Hoptimism and Hop O’Clock.

In December, Warrington-based brewery, Twisted Wheel Brew closed, with owners citing similar reasons to Bad Seed. Around the same time, Somerset’s Wild Beer Co entered administration, though the brand was later bought out by Curious Brewery, which will move Wild Beer Co production to its Ashford site.

Larger brewers have not been immune to mounting pressures and late last year, Asahi put forward a proposal for Dark Star to cease trading at its current site, in Partridge Green West Sussex.

BrewDog CEO and co-founder James Watt took to LinkedIn to address some of the challenges facing the industry, including energy bills.

“Would you like to pay £27.50 for a pint of Punk IPA?” he asked. “Nope, I didn’t think so. But that’s how much you’d be paying in BrewDog York, for example, if we’d put up prices in line with our soaring energy bills.”

He went on to say that he had seen “more breweries, bars and restaurants than I can name go out of business in the past few months and that trend is only going to accelerate”.

Trade organisations continue to lobby government over rising costs, including energy prices. 

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