Founded in 2012 by Andrew Cooper and Brett Ellis, (a Californian brewer and an Englishman) the Wild Beer Co was born out of a love of wild yeast fermentation, barrel-aging and the use of unusual ingredients in its beers. Located in a tranquil setting in Somerset, England, this true farmhouse brewery charted its own path and built a rabid cult following almost overnight.
But its run may have come to an end.
On December 5 the award-winning brewery released a statement, acknowledging that the brewery has gone into administration (similar to bankruptcy in US) and was seeking a buyer to save the business…
“It is with heavy hearts that we regret to inform you that as of today we have entered into a period of administration. The administrators are attempting to seek out potential buyers to acquire the business, however, at this time we have made the decision to halt any trading. We will continue to provide updates as and when necessary.”
“We would like to thank each and every one of you for your support and love for our brand. It has been a wild ten years and we are heartbroken to be in this position. We could see the potential for Wild Beer and we had ambitions to increase sales and brand exposure.”
“We must sadly report that the company has been facing a number of adverse trading conditions including; Covid, the loss of export sales, spiraling production costs, damaging inflation and an increase in interest rates that have all affected sales. These factors, along with the recent cost-of-living crisis have impacted the company’s ability to succeed.”
In 2017, The Wild Beer Co entered into a crowdfunding scheme which attracted 1,900 investors and generated £1.76m with the intention of building a new brewery, developing its barrel ageing, and growing its restaurant business.
However, following a report in The Sunday Times, investors are now asking what will happen to their money now that The Wild Beer Co has folded.
In 2017 BrewDog committed to building Overworks, a sour beer division with its own separate facility in Ellon, Scotland which was helmed by ex-Wicked Weed’s, Richard Kilcullen. An endeavor that BrewDog co-founder James Watt now admits was too big and couldn’t possibly scale…
“We mistakenly misread the market for sour beers and put together an amazing facility that was simply far too big. Consequently, we were under pressure from the outset and ended up making far too many different sour beers than we could hardly even keep up with what was going on.”
And although The Wild Beer Co didn’t acknowledge its commitment to Sour and Wild Ales (a beer style that has yet to a mainstream American audience), as a factor that contributed to its current troubles, Wild Ale sales are still reportedly “dwarfed by better-known craft styles, such as IPAs and lagers.”
(All image credits: The Wild Beer Co)