The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Epic Brewing Company goes into liquidation

One of the pioneers of Kiwi craft brewing – Epic Brewing Company – has gone into liquidation.

Records from the Companies Office show the business was placed into liquidation by a special resolution of shareholders on July 25.

Founded by owner Luke Nicholas in 2007, Epic has been brewed under contract at Steam Brewing in Otahuhu since its inception.

Luke Nicholas

Nicholas together with his co-owner and wife, Wendy, told The Pursuit of Hoppiness the decision was made suddenly after a deal to build their own brewery and taproom in Mt Wellington fell through when an investment partner pulled out without notice.

“We were literally expecting the resource consent to come through and we thought we were on the verge of making an announcement that it was all go but the investor said they’d lost their appetite for the project,” he said.

Without the investor’s backing, the Nicholas’ realised they couldn’t pay all their bills in the coming months, and they made the decision to liquidate.

“We thought we had a plan, but the plan ended, but we don’t have enough time or resources to pull something out the bag because the market is so difficult,” said Luke.

Fans of Epic have expressed their disappointment on Facebook, showing support for the brewery that has produced a number of iconic beers, such as Hop Zombie and Armageddon.

“Thank you for your service. The craft beer scene in NZ would be nothing like it is now if it wasn’t for the likes of you,” wrote one supporter.

“This is tragic. Epic was always by far my favourite of the NZ craft beers. Always brought a pack to friends and family overseas to show off the amazing beers available to us. Wishing you all the best of luck in the future,” said another.

Production at Steam Brewing was ceased immediately and the liquidators, Waterstone Insolvency, will now sell off remaining stock and try to sell the brand.

“We think there is a lot of value in the company in terms of the brand. It’s a really well-known beer brand sold in supermarkets and [has] quite a lot of distribution. It’s got a big market presence,” Waterstone Insolvency director Adam Botterill told Michael Donaldson.

The future of the Epic taproom in Onehunga is currently uncertain.

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