West Berkshire Brewery turns to crowdfunding to aid growth
West Berkshire Brewery (WBB), creators of Good Old Boy and Renegade Lager, has launched a crowdfunding campaign.
The campaign, on investment platform Seedrs, aims to raise £750,000 to add further scale to the fast-growing business.
The money raised will fund the next stage of development for the company. Since the brewer’s first crowdfunding campaign in 2016, West Berkshire Brewery said it has recorded many successes, with recent trading highlights including:
• A doubling of revenues to more than £6million in its most recent full financial year
• A trebling of its state-of-the-art packaging and canning business, now worth circa £2million of revenues annually
• Contract packaging has rocketed 12-fold, from 3,400 hl per year to 3,400 hl per month
• Own-label contracts secured with leading national grocery multiple, Aldi
• Packaging for a number of regional breweries including Wadworth, Black Sheep and Adnams
• Landmark national distribution deal with Matthew Clark
• Growing portfolio of unique managed pubs in partnership with Maverick Pubs
• High volume, highly profitable, on-site brewery Taproom & Kitchen launched
• Continual beer innovation and creation of brews in-line with consumer trends
• Imminent launch of beer subscription or regular ‘beer box’ service
Looking to the future, the brewer said it has already received pledges of £500,000 from its community of more than 1,500 existing shareholders during the exclusive pre-launch stage of the campaign.
Despite the unprecedented global pandemic, which saw the closure of all pubs, bars and restaurants nationwide, the company said it has been able to continue to grow and build some parts of its business in the past three months – with distinct success with its online retail offering and packaging business.
Planned developments for the brewery business will include new brews in-line with consumer trends and an “ambitious plan” for the Maverick Pubs portfolio. Brand new West Berkshire Brewery subscription boxes will also be launching over the coming months. For each subscription sold, a donation will be made to NHS Charities Together – more information will be shared at and following the launch.
In line with consumer trends, one of the most recent additions to the line-up of WBB beers is Solo (0.5% ABV), the brewery’s first ever alcohol-free beer. Available in 33cl bottle and can formats, with trials into kegs, the Solo range has grown considerably since the launch earlier this year and now includes a classic Pale Ale, Pilsner and Peach Pale Ale variant. WBB said it will continue to experiment with innovation in this area.
The campaign, which is now live, includes investor perks such as lifetime 10% discount, brewery tours, vouchers and for larger pledges, access to the 100L pilot kit for shareholders to create their own bespoke beer.
Tom Lucas, West Berkshire Brewery managing director, said: “The past few months have been extremely tough for everyone, ourselves included, but despite these challenging times, we have been able to trade through and some parts of our business are in significant growth, which is testament to the extensive work we have completed in the past couple of years to establish a much bigger and multi-faceted business, which has positioned us well to weather the current storm. We are in a very positive place and ready to continue accelerating our business in the months and years ahead.”
David Bruce, West Berkshire Brewery chairman, said: “West Berkshire Brewery is as authentic as British brewing gets. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with the team and be a part of the journey over the past seven years, but this really is only the beginning. We are opening up once more to offer beer lovers and craft-brewing enthusiasts with a thirst for fantastic breweries a chance to join us and become a part of this extraordinary story."