Financial problems with a craft beer importer and distributor established 11 years ago prompted a creditor to go to court to have the business declared insolvent.
In the latest case of a beer business in financial trouble, Grant Reynolds of insolvency specialist Reynolds & Associates has produced his first report on Beertique NZ, saying what went wrong.
In Beertique’s case, Mt Wellington’s Install Management went to court to have the company put into liquidation last month and now Reynolds’ report is out.
Accounts show $267,000 owed to suppliers and other creditors but few other financial figures are available, including how much Inland Revenue could be owed.
Beertique was initially an importer and distributor of local and UK craft beer but it changed its business model when Covid lockdowns hit, Reynolds said.
It then became a beer storage and delivery service on behalf of craft breweries.
But the company stopped trading in May and the directors blamed lockdowns, legal action being taken by creditors as well as competition.
A number of other craft beer businesses registered their financial interest in Beertique on the PPSR and some of those business are themselves in liquidation, following the economic downturn.
Heartland Bank, AB Equipment, Epic Brewing Company, NZGT (FP) Trustee, Pacific Brew, Rocky Knob Brewing, Isthmus Brewing, Deep Creek Brewing Operations, Hamill Refrigeration and Liberty Brewing were listed as secured creditors.
Inland Revenue, Hamill Refrigeration, AB Equipment, Rocky Knob, Whanau Investments, Isthmus Brewing, eParcel and Peter and Stephanie Snow were named as creditors in another schedule.
Beertique directors and shareholders are Melissa Jayne Dale and Philip Iain Dale. They got $95,000 Covid cash during the pandemic, declaring employee numbers fluctuating from three to five.
In July, the Herald reported Kiwi craft beer brewer Epic going into liquidation, with Waterstone Insolvency appointed by its shareholders. But by August, Brett Russell Group and alcohol importer and distributor Hancocks Group were reported as the new owners.
Deep Creek struck liquidation in October, a product failure with a shipment to China one of the reasons cited for trouble.
Last year, Dunedin’s New New New closed after the owners couldn’t sell the brand, while previously Funk Estate went into liquidation and was bought by Brand House, a business that also saved Renaissance when the highly-regarded Blenheim brewery hit the wall.
The Herald’s power list of boutique craft beer brokers said the sector was at a crossroads.
A 10-year boom cycle had reached a plateau in a tightening economy, Michael Donaldson reported.
There’s been a spate of liquidations, closures and sales since the advent of Covid.
These are the problems of a maturing market but beneath the headlines, there’s a confidence that craft beer can continue to bring innovation and change to the wider beverage sector, Donaldson wrote in September.
An update on Beertique is due in about six months once further investigations are undertaken.
Anne Gibson has been the Herald’s property editor for 23 years, has won many awards, written books and covered property extensively here and overseas.