One of the founders of the Framework Brewery in Leicester has made a last ditch bid to find new owners to take on the business.
Jim Willis said shareholders in the beer-maker had decided to sell-up to concentrate on five pubs they own across central England.
Mr Willis – who is also managing director and co-owner of Leicester’s Bulb Studios – said it was sad to be saying goodbye to the brewery and the race was on keep it – and the Brewery Tap Room above it – open, albeit under new ownership.
If a buyer isn’t found within a fortnight the brewing equipment will be auctioned off. Mr Willis said they were open to offers in the region of £20-25,000 for the business – based in a Victorian building In Friday Street, near Abbey Park – and its branding and recipes.
He said: “It’s one of those things, I’m afraid. During the pandemic we decided to change the model to brew beer just to supply our own pubs rather than the micro-pubs we were selling to before. As a result the pubs became more profitable and the brewery less so.
“So the brewery is up for sale, but I would love to see a legacy from it and for a brewing company to continue in Leicester.
“If we get a reasonable offer we will end the auction of the equipment early. If someone wanted to buy the brand, recipes and kit we would expect around £25,000. If the right person just wanted to buy the kit and take on the building we would be open to offers.
“Otherwise, if we don’t get a buyer, we’ll be closing the doors in a couple of weeks.”
The brewery was launched by five friends in 2016 and had its roots in the city’s Western Park beer festival.
Jim said there was good news in the fact that the brewing team had found new jobs, including with the Camden Town Brewery, the Round Corner Brewery in Melton, and Sommar Brewing Company, in Birmingham.
He said: “It’s a great spot in terms of its location, about 100m behind Leicester College and right next to the Corah textiles factory redevelopment, which will be huge for the area.
“It’s rare to find an industrial site in a city centre where you can do this sort of thing because a lot of old premises have been turned into apartments or are too close to residential areas.
“Upstairs we’ve created a tap room which is a beautiful space with room for about 120 people. There’s free parking and we had been preparing bookings for parties prior to making to decision to close.
“We would love for someone with the passion to come in, and would offer them a deal and be happy to help them get established.
“There’s a lot of passion about brewing and it’s bang in the city centre, so I would like to see it as an opportunity for someone. Hopefully we’ll be able to pique someone’s interest.”
The pubs within the group which continue to trade are the Two-Tailed Lion in Leicester, three Ale Rooms venues in the West Midlands, and the St Giles Ale House in Northampton, and there are plans to add more.
Details of the brewery sale can be found at eddisons.com and Jim Willis can be contacted via Bulb Studios.