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Mad Hatter's beer lover's favourite Tzatziki Sour: "It's been a wild ride!"

Mad Hatter Brewery suspends operations, seeks buyer

Liverpool’s Mad Hatter Brewery has gone into voluntary liquidation.

Co-founder and managing director Sue Starling announced the news on Twitter, saying the decision had to be made “before things got out of hand.”

Referring to co-founder and brewer Gareth Matthews, who left the business last year to set up the Gibberish Brewpub in the city, she added that “honestly, my heart hasn’t been in it since the premises move. We expanded to the wrong size and Gaz’s creativity has been missed.”

Mad Hatter made its mark on the craft beer scene with an adventurous series of beers, Tzatzike Sour in particular grabbing a lot of attention. It also claimed to be the first brewer to produce beers inspired by French left-wing philosopher Alain Badiou.

Matthews’ replacement as head brewer, Angus Morrison, “has done a really great job,” she added. “But the madness between Gaz and I wasn’t there any more and that was the motor of Mad Hatter.

“I’ve also grown a lot as a person and I’ve been thinking about what I want and it’s not to run a business. I think this has been obvious from my tweets about communism.

“It’s been a wild ride,” she concludes, hoping that “someone can buy the business so it could live on!”

Mad Hatter launched in 2013 with a 40-litre home-brew kit and expanded three times in its first four years, with the purchase of Wylam Brewery’s old kit early in 2017 representing a six-fold growth.

In June this year the company announced it would be crowdfunding for a tap room and a canning line that would be available for other microbrewers to use, but the campaign failed to materialise.

Disappointment with Mad Hatter’s demise was expressed by dozens of followers and fellow brewers on its Twitter feed.

Phil Mellows
30th October 2018

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