New Zealand’s craft beer industry suffered another setback today with both Boneface Brewing and Brothers Beer going in to liquidation.

The good news for Boneface is that there is contract is in place for the sale of the brewery and brand.

Brothers Beer, formerly in voluntary administration, are went into liquidation yesterday according to the New Zealand Gazette.

Boneface, founded by Matt Dainty (ex-Renaissance, Panhead) in 2016, is an integral part of Upper Hutt’s Brewtown.

The fate of the business is now in the hands of Iain Shephard and Jessica Kellow of Wellington accountancy firm BDO.

Boneface has been on the market since late last year. Shephard told Pursuit of Hoppiness there is a contract in place to buy the business and the liquidator’s job is to keep the business running until the contract can be settled.

“Even though the company is in liquidation, it’s business as usual. All the staff will retain their jobs and there will be a new owner in shortly,” Shephard said.

“There were some short-term cash flow issues but with a contract in place for the acquisition of the business we’ll see that through to its conclusion.”

Boneface hit the scene strongly with its sci-fi themed artwork standing out on the shelves and they backed that up with a series of award-winning beers including The Juice, a dry-hopped Gose, The Outlaw India Pale Lager and The Darkness India Stout, as well as their flagship APA, Hoptron.

Like many taproom-focused businesses, Boneface struggled during the Covid-era lockdowns.


Post-Covid, Boneface took over the Hop Garden bar in Pirie Street, Wellington.

The major shareholding in Boneface lies with Dainty and a Guernsey-based company, Irwin Gore Investments, with both holding 43.75% of the shares.

The two directors are Dainty and Richard Gore.

John Fisk and Stephen White have been appointed liquidators of three companies under the Brothers Beer umbrella — Brothers Beer Holdings, Brothers Beer and Brothers Wholesale.

That have set Friday, July 5, as the day by which the creditors of the companies are to make their claims, and to establish any priority to distributions that may become available.

Boneface and Brothers are the third and fourth breweries to go into liquidation in the past year, with Epic surviving after being sold to The Russell Group and Hancock’s Wines & Spirits, while Deep Creek was shuttered and the brew kit sold to pay back creditors.