Asterley Bros has secured its £100,000 Crowdcube fundraising target and it is now extending this to £150,000 following an “overwhelming response” to the campaign.

The initial target funding will be used to upgrade facilities at the brand’s home to increase production capacity and to support the development of new products. A portion will also be used to support sales and marketing while the extended target will raise funds to support export growth.

Founder, Rob Berry, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response to our crowdfunding campaign. Sourcing opinion from our supporters has always been key to our development process through beta testing, and so turning to our fans to help us reach the next stage of our journey seemed the obvious choice – we are delighted to welcome new members into our family. The aperitif category is undergoing a renaissance due in part to the spritz effect and so now is the perfect time for us to expand our production and offering.”

The London-based spirits brand, which includes amaro, vermouth and fernet, is valued at £1 million and is currently available in the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore. The company’s five-year plan will see the brand expand into 20 further export markets, including China, Spain and the United States. Sales are forecast at £12 million over the five-year period and the global vermouth market is estimated to exceed £14 billion by 2021.

Joe Schofield, creative director, said: “I have been a great fan of the Asterley Bros brand since they launched their Dispense Amaro in 2017, and I have always enjoyed utilising their handcrafted liquids in cocktails and other mixed drinks. Breathing new life into the category, they are making exceptional products that are popular with bartenders and consumers alike.

“This is a particularly exciting time for the flourishing category and I am delighted to join the team as creative director to be part of the next stage of the brand’s growth.”

Asterley Bros started in 2014, and was set up by brothers Rob and Jim Berry. Dispense Amaro was launched in early 2017 and the range has since growth to include Estate Vermouth and Britannica Fernet.

The producer will launch its fourth product next month: Schofield’s Dry Vermouth, which will be made using English wines and grape spirit as a base, combined with 28 “intriguing” botanicals.

The company is also planning to develop a range of approachable “everyday” vermouths that will be designed to encourage more drinkers into the category, as well as entering the RTD market with a series of Vermouth cocktails in cans.