North Brewing Saved from Administration by Kirkstall Brewery’s Steve Holt

In a significant development for the Yorkshire craft beer scene, North Brewing, the Leeds-based brewery and bar group, has been successfully rescued from administration by Steve Holt of Kirkstall Brewery. The move ensures the continuation of the iconic North brand, a pioneer in the early days of the UK craft beer market.

Both Steve Holt and the founders of North Brewing, John Gyngell and Christian Townsley, played instrumental roles in shaping and developing the craft beer landscape in the UK. Over almost three decades, their commitment to producing high-quality products and services has been a driving force behind the success of both Kirkstall and North Brewing.

As the craft beer market evolved, both breweries expanded their footprint as brewers and retailers, sharing a common passion for beer and the hospitality industry. The recent challenges faced by the brewing industry, including the impacts of COVID-19, the cost of living crisis, inflation, Brexit, and utility price increases, made the rescue crucial for the survival of North Brewing.

North Brewing will continue to operate independently from its Springwell site under the new company name, Vertical Drinks Ltd, trading as North. The existing management team will continue to lead operations, ensuring a seamless transition.

Expressing his satisfaction with the solution, John Gyngell of North Brewing stated, “We are pleased to have found a solution for our team and the legacy of the North brand.” Steve Holt, of Kirkstall Brewery, emphasized the importance of preserving the iconic beer brand, saying, “North is an iconic beer brand that had to continue. Together we’ll make sure that North will continue to make some of the best beer in the country.”

Christian Townsley of North acknowledged the challenges faced by the brewing industry, recognizing the difficulties for stakeholders and creditors. He stated, “This has been an absolutely torrid time for the brewing industry,” citing the various economic and global challenges.

The advisory role in the rescue process was taken on by Howard Smith and Rick Harrison of Interpath Advisory, who were appointed advisors to North Brewing Company Limited, North Brewing Leisure, and North Brewing Management Limited on January 25, 2024. Charles Boyne of Weightmans Solicitors provided legal representation for North, while a team from Lupton Fawcett Solicitors, led by corporate partner Dan McCormack, acted on behalf of Kirkstall Brewery.

The successful rescue of North Brewing ensures the preservation of a cherished brand in the Yorkshire brewing landscape and the continued production of some of the finest beers in the country.

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