A brewery chain employing 1,000 people in north-west England has gone into administration.
Cains Brewery, based in Liverpool, makes a range of 11 ales and lagers and runs more than 100 pubs nationwide.
Administrators, PricewaterhouseCoopers, are working with staff and landlords to ensure the brewery and pubs stay open while it seeks a buyer for the firm.
The 158-year-old brewery went into administration after running into cash-flow difficulties.
Cains, which runs pubs largely in the North West, said it has been battered by rising costs, the impact of the smoking ban and a disputed tax bill.
Last month HM Revenue and Customs filed a petition for the company in Stanhope Street to be wound up because of money it claims they owed.
The firm was also in talks with its bank, Bank of Scotland, to try to borrow the money, but failed to reach an agreement.
The firm reported widening half-year losses at the end of July, at £4.6m against £697,000 in the same period last year.
David Chubb, PWC partner and joint administrator, said: "Cains is a well-established business with a great brand and brewing facility which has been brewing ales since the mid-19th century.
"It is currently our intention to continue to trade both the brewery and pub chain businesses.
"We have already received some early indications of interest and we would also invite any parties interested...to contact us as soon as possible."
Cains has won a number of awards for its ales, most recently the World's Best Fruit Beer in the World Beer Awards 2007.
Its beer is also the official beer of the 2008 Liverpool European Capital of Culture.
Established in 1850, it was bought by Sudarghara and Ajmail Dusanj in 2002.