Consortium agrees deal to save brewery

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

The man who helped create an award winning brewery has stepped in to safeguard its future after it encountered financial difficulties.

The Growler Brewery, which is known to many as Nethergate Brewery and is based in Pentlow, was put up for sale earlier this year after being placed into administration.

On Monday it was announced the company had been bought by a consortium headed by Dick Burge. Mr Burge co-founded the brewery in Clare with Ian Hornsey in 1986.

Mr Burge, who will run the brewery with Rob Crawford and John Holberry, said he was pleased to be back after retiring in 2010 to spend more time with his family.

He said a key reason for his decision to reinvest in the business was the talented staff who work at the brewery.

“I have missed being involved in the beer business and I was delighted to step in when I heard Nethergate was up for sale, especially when I confirmed that Paul Gower, the head brewer was still there,” said Mr Burge, who lives in Clare.

“I look forward to working with him to produce some more great beers for the publicans and beer lovers in the area.”

The problems for the brewery, which employs 12 people and has a turnover of £2million, began last summer when one of its owners was forced to retire due to ill-health.

Despite being recognised as the Brewery of the Year in 2012 by The Good Pub Guide, the company was put in the hands of business rescue and insolvency specialist’s McTear Williams & Wood which was instructed to act for the business and subsequently sell it as a going concern.

Mr Burge, who was involved in relocating the business to The Street in Pentlow in 2005 as demand grew, said he was hopeful the brewery would now continue on a surer footing.

“I know that there has been uncertainty recently and it’s been a tough couple of weeks for our staff and customers,” he said. “I would like to thank them for their loyalty.”