Nikobrew’s consumer website has been down for some time now. Jeremiah’s tip indicates that Nikobrew is liquidating their remaining hop inventory on their pro site. That site says just one box of each type remains. Although I’ve seen no official announcement, this doesn’t seem like good news. Nikobrew has been a great supplier for years.
Update: Thanks to an HBF Reader for pointing out this statement from Nikobrew. I’ll reiterate that this saddens me. I’ve partnered with and been a customer of Niko’s for years.Statement from Nikobrew
“Dear Nikobrew customers, Please allow us to explain why things have big a pain in the ass with our website lately and why we are, regrettably, no longer going to be able to serve the brewing community. We at Nikobrew realized that as a family owned, smaller distributor we were going to need to diversify to ride through the changing climate of the hop industry and, because we also just wanted to, we developed a business plan centered around a local brewery. With a significant personal investment and an SBA loan we commenced with all things brewery. We hired a consultant/equipment manufacturer to help us with this project in relation to site inspections/equipment needs/ever changing city regulations/etc. This person signed a contract for consulting services and offered to broker the sale of some equipment we owned in favor of then purchasing a larger, custom system from him. This is, by the way, taking a very long and complicated story and making it short and simple. Through the sale of the smaller piece of equipment this person/company embezzled $60,000 from our SBA money and also sold us a $20,000 piece of absolute garbage keg washer. Despite the valiant efforts of a local sheriff to get criminal charges pressed, as it was a business-to-business transaction it remains a civil case. We have been fighting for over a year to get the money returned and cannot disclose the identity of the persons in question until it is resolved in its entirety. This theft threw the brewery project into a stand-still and exhausted our personal resources. The amount we would win going to court is almost the same as it would cost in legal fees to proceed further. During mediation, we were told almost verbatim by our retired judge mediator that we were 100% in the right, however, without a court order they are not legally required to repay any of the stolen funds and, even with a court order, it is unlikely they’d even have the money to pay back at this point. Saddest of all, it has been brought to our attention that we are not the first company to have this happen, and that this business is in the process even now of doing the exact same thing to at least one other brewery. Our brewery is dead, the SBA wants their money back, and the hops company we’ve nurtured for the past 8 years will be scrapped for parts. On behalf of Niko, Alexis, Scott, Jenn, Chris, and Devin we want to sincerely thank you all for your incredible support the last 8 years. We have honestly loved being your go-to supplier for hops, seeing you all at conventions, supporting the Brewing Network, and getting to know the people in this industry. Now that we are able to announce the closure of Nikobrew, stay tuned for how to get in on our bulk hop liquidation sale. Cheers! Lechyim! Prost!
We have considered crowd-funding but factoring together the personal investment we have made in addition to the 80k lost there’s no way we could raise enough money – the bank is not going to wait. We are getting inundated with well-wishes and condolences and if we don’t respond we’re not ignoring you!”
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