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Niko brew shutting down

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!

EDIT TO ADD: 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!Redirecting...

I seriously just started buying from them… that’s sad. I’m dying to know who the scam artist is, though.

Yes very sad great company great service.

Man so sorry to hear this. Such a shame when small business owners are trying to make a go of it only to be taken advantage of by some unscrupulous scumbag.

It’s a shame that crowd funding wouldn’t help them or a go fund me account or something to save a company like this.

Damn that’s sad to hear. Sucks that people can get away with that.

That is disgusting! Hopefully someone in LE or even the State Attorney General can find a way to bring this sleazbag to justice.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a judge or a lawyer. This as an observation of past events. It IS NOT legal advice. In Florida you do not need a lawyer to take another person or corporation to small claims court; however, you would probably do well to consult a lawyer before you take any action. That’s the closest I’ll come to offering legal advice.

I’m a Small Claims Court mediator and this reminds me of a couple of cases I’ve seen in which a plaintiff broke a large claim into several smaller small claims cases. I don’t even remember what the cases were about, but hypothetically lets say it was a brewery operation very similar to this: instead of suing the defendant for selling a bad keg washer for $20,000, the plaintiff sued the defendant for selling a bad pump. He then sued for selling a bad heating unit, he then sued for selling a bad frubus, then sued for selling a bad thingamajig, etc. Embezzling $20,000.00 became an instance of accepting a check for $5,000.00 and not providing the services agreed upon, he then sued for accepting a check for $5,000.00 and not delivering those services or products.

In Florida the limit for Small Claims Court is $5,000.00, but I suspect the limit varies from state to state. Filing a small claims case in Florida will cost you a filing fee which can be added to the claim, pushing it beyond the state’s limit for the case. Lawyers’ fees can also be added onto the claim (all of the above refers to Florida).

The judge in the cases I remember was curious about the cases, but allowed them to go to mediation. I have no idea if he would have allowed the cases if they went to trial. Evidence such as signed contracts, photos, and witnesses would probably be helpful if a case cannot be resolved in mediation.

Really is a shame been getting my hops from them for awhile great company

There in is the saddest of all… Sure looks good, then stabs you in the BACK… I do believe there won’t be a place they can just relax… There will be someone out to screw them too! Its not that I don’t trust mankind… I just don’t trust man… Sneezles61

Unfortunately that is the type of business practices rewarded in this country now. You know what I’m talking about

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Might this be it? 16CV05868 — NikoBrew LLC v. WeCan Brewing Systems LLC, Matt Mulder, complaint, $59,000, plus interest, costs and fees.

Source: http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/deschutescounty/4066866-151/deschutes-county-civil-suits

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NikoBrew was a shady business and are getting the karma they deserve. I remember them price gouging 2yr old Amarillo hops when there was a bad shortage. $3.50/ounce to homebrewers for 2 YEAR OLD pellets just because they could. I called them out on it and the owner basically told me f**k off and didn’t care. It’s good to see Karma catching up with them.

Supply and demand brother. Thats the way it works, I have no problem with it just used different hops I would rather blame the people who paid the inflated price.

^good point. I would also apply that same logic to Niko for not being smart enough to do his due diligence prior to engaging in a business venture large enough to take them under if it failed. It’s mind blowing that they could be so careless & lack the savvy to make an informed decision. Classic example of Darwinism. Not really surprising to me; their website alone looked like garbage. When your store front looks like a high school senior project out the 90’s it’s a good indicator you’re in over your head.

Did they not post the date of the hops harvest on their webpage? Personally I would have just sent them back.

Being happy they lost 50k over the price of an ounce of hops seems a bit harsh.

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dannyboy58 - you’re totally right, we need more suppliers that price-gouge us whenever possible. you have a good point, we should just ignore it and let them hog up stock and inflate the market driving up price; that should be great for the community.

The cool thing about shopping is if you don’t like the price you don’t have to buy the product. Did you ever think that maybe the price was high because he had to pay a lot to get the hops.

I have never bought anything from Niko brew and don’t know him. I do know he sponsors several podcasts that I listen to and people that I respect say he is a nice guy.

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When I bought from them they always had the dates of the harvest. So you knew what you were getting. They were all nitrogen purged and vacuum sealed.

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yea…cuz that’s what I said right?

Interesting that you only joined last night and this is the only topic you’ve posted on…

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