London Fields Brewery bought by Carlsberg as founder Julian Whiteway-Wilkinson faces tax fraud trial

London Fields Brewery was founded in 2011. Picture: Arnaud Stephenson

London Fields Brewery was founded in 2011. Picture: Arnaud Stephenson - Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson

Carlsberg has bought London Fields Brewery, which was put up for sale when its owner Julian Whiteway-Wilkinson was charged with tax fraud.

Julian De Vere Whiteway-Wilkinson.

Julian De Vere Whiteway-Wilkinson. - Credit: Archant

The Warburton Street beer firm, known for Easy IPA and Shoreditch Triangle IPA, was founded in 2011 and was soon dubbed “Britain’s most fashionable brewery” after pulling in the likes of Twilight star Robert Pattinson and Friends star David Schwimmer.

But last year Whiteway-Wilkinson was charged with four counts of VAT, tax and student loan fraud totalling £1million.

He and his wife Rosemary Spence appeared at Wood Green Crown Court in January but the trial was adjourned until next week.

Whiteway-Wilkinson’s businessman father Juan bought the brewery off him after the charge, and it is not known how much Carlsberg paid for it, though it was listed for £3m.

It will be run in a joint venture with Brooklyn Brewery in New York, which Carlsberg bought last year.

“We’re thrilled to add London Fields Brewery to our growing portfolio of great quality craft and specialty beers,” said Carlsberg CEO Julian Momen. “We thank Julian for his work in establishing London Fields Brewery and the creation of this exciting brand, and we wish him well in the future.”

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Following a 2014 raid the brewery stopped brewing its beers on site, and many people have left feeling shortchanged after paying £13 to go on a “brewery tour”.

One unhappy customer called it a “complete waste of time” in a Trip Advisor review last week: “This ‘tour’ was a waste of time and money,” he wrote. “You go into a room where beer used to be made (not a brewery any more) and someone talks to you for 15 minutes and that’s it. You are done.”

Carlsberg has vowed to bring the brewing process back in house.