Reports are appearing that West Berkshire Brewery may be under threat, with either a sale or even an administration imminent.
The Times has reported that the accountancy firm Grant Thornton is being appointed to find a buyer but that the company may also be put into administration.
This follows on from earlier news of a series of allegations made by a group of former employees known as WBB Renegades over claims of bullying and sexism, although it is not certain if this is a factor in the most recent developments.
An open letter made claims of “multiple accounts of bullying, racism, homophobia, sexism, sexual harassment [and] a disregard for staff’s physical and mental wellbeing”. Managing Director Tom Lucas who was a central figure in the allegations left the company in September, while current Chairman David Bruce, founder of the Firkin chain remains.
West Berkshire Brewery has produced a wide range of fine traditional ales since its formation by Dave and Helen Maggs in 1995 in a shed in Frilsham. These including such notable beers as Good Old Boy, Mr Chubbs, and Maggs Mild.
They have since massively expanded and moved into the craft brewing market as well as producing a number of alcohol free beers. Recently they produced a special lager to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Reading Football Club.
The modern brewery also has a shop and taproom and the company also runs pubs in London and Oxford.
It would be a sad day if the company did not survive.