Operator of The National Trust Beer Club launches £400k crowdfunding campaign
Northumberland based brewer Delavals Ltd, which has the sole licence to run the National Trust Beer Club, is raising £400,000 on Investingzone.com, the equity crowdfunding platform, to help it become the UK’s market-leading craft-beer network.
Delavals will use a large part of the money to pay for marketing and publicity, helping to generate business from the National Trust’s database of more than 4.1 million members as well as expanding its campaigns to the general public, who are also able to join.
John Gilfillan, CEO of Delavals, says the boom in craft beer sales combined with the National Trust’s membership and brewing heritage makes it a perfect fit to launch into the craft beer space.
“The National Trust has a rich history with brewing as many of its old properties previously housed craft breweries.”
The Trust also owns 61 pubs across the country.
The craft beer market has exploded in recent years. According to CAMRA, the real ale advocacy group, 187 new craft breweries launched in 2013 alone and there are now over 1200 craft-beer breweries around the UK.
Consumption of real ale is also increasing rapidly despite an overall decline in alcohol drinking among adults.
A 2013 report by CGA Strategy said craft beer sales in the UK were bucking the trend with sales increasing by 79% in the previous 12 months.
In its 2013 UK Beer Report, research company Euromonitor said “Consumers are expected to continue to favour quality over quantity when it comes to beer…opting for high-quality products including craft beer and imported lagers.”
Delavals will make money in a variety of ways, including subscriptions that entitle club members to varying amounts of beer delivered to their homes each month, in addition to a variety of retail outlets such as pubs and off licences. In addition it is looking at tasting events and corporate partnerships where club membership is used as an incentive to attract new business.
Delavals is already in talks with a leading satellite TV company with a view to providing membership as a perk to new subscribers.
The National Trust Beer Club already stocks more than 200 craft beers but it will soon be stocking many more as its marketing campaigns get under way.
“We soft-launched the beer club in October 2013 but we have not undertaken any meaningful marketing or promotional work apart from placing some of our beers in some National Trust shops and placing entry-level gift vouchers in some branches of WHSmith” said Gilfillan. “We now need to step it up several levels to get more market penetration.”
Delavals is looking to raise money via the Investingzone equity crowdfunding platform, selling shares equivalent to approximately 30 per cent of the company, valuing the company at around £1.4million after the raise.
However, Gilfillan says this is conservative.
“There are 4.1 million National Trust members in over 2 million households. If we can convert 3.75 per cent of National Trust households, equating to 72,000 members, it could earn the company annual profits of approximately £1.1million. And that is only through the beer club channel. Add in sales to the public via other channels and you can see the potential.”
Jean Miller, CEO of Investingzone, which is running the equity raise, says it is an exciting prospect for investors.
“We’re delighted to be offering investors the opportunity to back such an exciting company which offers the possibility of solid returns for patient investors in addition to the chance to indulge in a very enjoyable hobby.
“Investors who want to find out more can get the information they need on our site and can even quiz the directors about their future plans.”
Investors can back Delavals and The National Trust Beer club with investments of as little as £100 via the Investingzone website. Visit www.investingzone.com for full details.