A brewery chain employing 1,000 people in north-west England is facing closure over an unpaid tax bill.
Cains Brewery, based in Liverpool, makes a range of 11 ales and lagers and runs more than 100 pubs nationwide.
HM Revenue and Customs has filed a petition for the company to be wound up because of money it claims they owe.
Cains' Chief Executive Sudarghara Dusanj told BBC News: "It is a very serious situation. We are in talks with our bank to try to borrow the money."
He said they had agreed a settlement with the Revenue and Customs and had asked their bank for help.
"We are not seeking funds over and above the amount we are already allowed, so we are confident the bank will help."
Mr Dusanj added: "These past six months have been the worst in living memory for the brewery trade.
"The credit crunch and a tough period for the retail industry are causing everyone problems.
"This is our first bit of trouble in the six years since we bought the company and we are hoping we can get through it."
A spokesperson for HBOS said they were unable to comment because of commercial confidentiality.
And a Revenue and Custons spokeswoman echoed that response, adding that they did try as much as possible to help companies in difficulties.
Last year Cains Fine Raisin beer secured the title of World's Best Fruit Beer in the annual World Beer Awards 2007.
Cains beer is also the official beer of the 2008 Liverpool European Capital of Culture year.
Cains claims on its website to be one of the fastest growing breweries in the country, with a £30m annual turnover.
The company operates from a brewery in Stanhope Street, Liverpool.
Established in 1850, it was bought by the Dusanj brothers in 2002.