Beer retailer outlines ambitious expansion plans
We Brought Beer is embarking on a crowdfunding campaign to aid ambitious expansion plans, following its merger with beer retailer The Beer Boutique earlier this year.
In January the bottle shop companies joined forces to create the largest specialist beer retailer in the UK, with six stores.
Two Heads Beer is the new company jointly owned by James Hickson, who founded We Brought Beer, and Jon Kaye, the founder of The Beer Boutique. Hickson now runs the group with Kaye acting as executive chairman.
The stores will continue to be run under their existing brand names but the new combined company is to launch a crowdfunding campaign in April with the aim of raising £350,000 to double the number of stores over the next three years.
Hickson told DRN: “The majority will be in London, within zones 2 to 6 of the Tube line. Saying that, Beer Boutique has one store in Tunbridge Wells and it’s doing really well. And, of course, craft beer is not just a London thing,so we will be looking at commuter towns, places such as Guildford, Reading and Woking.
“We also want to open flagship stores in Manchester and Bristol. We want a presence in the two best beer cities in the UK. These would stock a lot of Bristol and Manchester-specific beers, which we can then send to the London stores as well.”
He also highlighted a “dream project” which the company will look at in the future.
“We want to open a bar-bottle shop hybrid. Our stores already have an on-trade element but we want to flip the ratio, so currently our stores are 80:20 in favour of retail but we want one venue that is the other way around. We would also look at putting a nano-brewery in there, mainly to create beers to sell in that bar.”