Former Phoenix restaurant and brewery owners caught not paying taxes

By Christina Estes
Published: Monday, February 14, 2022 - 2:27pm
Updated: Wednesday, February 16, 2022 - 10:43am

Mother Bunch in Phoenix
Jean Clare Sarmiento/KJZZ
Mother Bunch in Phoenix in 2019.

The owners of Mother Bunch Brewing Inc. will pay restitution and fines for failing to pay taxes.

In 2014, married couple Julie Meeker and Jimmie McBride opened Mother Bunch at Seventh and Garfield streets. They earned a reputation for supporting police, firefighters and public school teachers, and Meeker became a public face for the few local women actively involved in craft brewing.

The Arizona Department of Revenue said Meeker and McBride failed to pay nearly $640,000 in sales and income taxes. The couple each pleaded guilty to one count and agreed to pay restitution and fines totaling close to $657,000.

According to the department, the money will break down like this:

“… they each agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $632,806.70 and a fine totaling $10,000 for failing to pay transaction privilege tax (TPT). They were also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,494, and fines totaling $9,575, for failing to pay Arizona individual income tax.”

In January 2020, Meeker posted the following message on the restaurant and brewery’s website:

“It is with deep sadness, but also with deep gratitude, that I must announce the closing of Mother Bunch Brewing. I’ve taken stock and looked at this from every angle over the last few months and I had to come to the hardest decision in my life. I want to personally thank all of our great staff and especially all of the wonderful and amazing people I have had the chance to meet over the last five years. I will never regret this opportunity to share my love of craft beer and spread the story of women in brewing.”

Business Food + Restaurants