Moray craft beer-maker WooHa Brewing Company has collapsed into administration, with 12 workers made redundant.
Two employees are being retained to help with the administration, which has been blamed on the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit.
Iain Fraser and Tom MacLennan, partners with FRP Advisory, are now looking to sell the business and assets, either in whole or in part, “as quickly as possible”.
Founded in 2015 by Heather McDonald, Kinloss-based WooHa had built a substantial export business for its range of craft beers and regular seasonal releases.
Eye-catching brand names such as Roch N’ Roll, Hop Stampede and Jenny from the Bock helped the firm secure trade partnerships across a growing number of markets, including China, Russia, Italy, Finland, Israel and the US.
The company developed an expanding trade and online domestic business, securing agreements with leading brands such as Wetherspoons, Ocado, Amazon Prime, while also growing direct-to-consumer sales from its own website.
Since 2017, WooHa has operated from a purpose-built 16,000sq ft facility in Kinloss.
The business raised £2.3 million from private investors, including from a high-profile crowd-funding campaign, which helped create the infrastructure required to support a rapidly expanding export business and finance a major rebranding.
But cash flow problems arising from rapid contraction of the global hospitality and licensed trade industry during the Covid-19 pandemic, and increased costs and paperwork for exporters after Brexit have led to the firm’s collapse.
Severe financial problems meant that administration was the only option.”
Iain Fraser, FRP Advisory
Mr Fraser said: “WooHa Brewing Company is a high-profile craft brewing business, with a substantial and growing trade and consumer client base.
“The business had grown rapidly in recent years, was well-financed, and had a clear strategy and positioning in a crowded market.
“The business has, unfortunately, been severely affected by a combination of Covid, the contraction of its main markets and the bureaucracy of Brexit.
Despite every effort by the directors to keep the business trading and ensure the company would be able to capitalise on the recovery when it comes, the severe financial problems meant that administration was the only option.”
He added: “Unfortunately, 12 members of staff have been made redundant with immediate effect, with two staff being retained to assist with the administration process.
“We will be working closely with the Redundancy Payments Service and other agencies to minimise the impact on the staff.
“We will also be looking to sell the business and assets, either in whole or in part as quickly as possible and would ask any interested parties to contact FRP as soon as they can on 0330 055 5455.”