Bellfield Brewery completes successful raise to fund expansion
The UK’s first dedicated gluten-free microbrewery achieved its fund raising target of 430k cash via equity, to support its rapid expansion.
The investment was led by the angel syndicate Equity Gap and was supported by Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise and existing shareholders (many of whom supported Bellfield’s original Crowdcube raise in 2015).
Now the brewery will create a number of new jobs, allowing the existing operational team to commit on a full-time basis and strengthening the sales team. The first senior appointment will be an experienced Sales Manager to develop the craft brewery’s UK sales in the on and off trade.
The raise was supported by Rod Mathers, Corporate Finance Partner and his team at Henderson Loggie Chartered Accountants and Jo Nisbet, Associate and the Corporate team at law firm, Harper Macleod.
Launched in March 2016 and based in Edinburgh, Bellfield Brewery has enjoyed several big contract wins as the free-from food and drink sector continues to expand with Mintel predicting the market to grow to £673m by 2020 (Mintel 2016) and the "Global Gluten-Free Beer Market - Growth, Trends and Forecasts (2017 - 2022)" report suggesting that the global gluten-free beer market will grow at a CAGR of more than 13.5% over the period 2017 to 2022.
Unlike most other breweries now producing gluten-free beers, Bellfield does not ‘de-glutenise’ its beer using enzymes. Instead, it has optimized its brewing process and recipes to produce great-tasting, gluten-free beer, naturally.
Bellfield will also invest in taking new products/formats to market, to ensure the company maintains its position in the free-from sector. Both its beers recently won awards at the prestigious Free From Food Awards 2017 (see note 4.)
Director, Marie Brown, said how pleased the company were to have achieved the raise, “We already know from our first year in business that there is considerable demand for our products in the UK and beyond. We’ve already delivered on our ambition to produce beer that stands up to anything in the market and we’ve secured listings with many of the leading food & drink distributors and wholesalers in the UK. We will now invest to grow our sales and operational team to build on the opportunity and grow our range of beers.”
Speaking on behalf of Equity Gap who co-ordinated the private investors, Jock Millican said, “We are very pleased to support Bellfield Brewery with this investment and look forward to working with them as they continue to grow and develop their brands. ’
Considerable interest has been shown in the beers from overseas and Bellfield has already shipped pallets of beer to wholesalers in Singapore, Malta and Switzerland.
Bellfield Brewery Lawless Village IPA was named UK Country Winner in last week’s World Beer Awards with Bohemian Pilsner named as UK Silver Winner.
Bellfield Brewery has recently started working intensively with Scottish Enterprise as part of its account management process, which will see the company receive tailored business support to help it realise its growth ambitions, both in the UK and across the globe.
Kerry Sharp, Head of the Scottish Investment Bank, said: “Having supported Bellfield via our Financial Readiness service, it is great to see the business raising the funds required to implement its business plan. Food and drink is a key sector for Scottish Enterprise and we look forward to continuing to work with the company, both from an investment perspective and through our account management support, to deliver its long term growth ambition.”
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Maggie Wright, PR Consultant for Henderson Loggie Tel: +44 (0)131 226 3622 firstname.lastname@example.org James Friel, PR and Communications Manager for Harper MacLeod Tel: +44 (0)141 227 9416 James.Friel@harpermacleod.co.uk
- Bellfield Brewery was set up by two Coeliac friends who see it as their mission was “to brew certified gluten-free beer that tastes great.” www.bellfieldbrewery.com; twitter @TheBellfield; Facebook @BellfieldBrewery; Instagram: @bellfieldbrewery
- In 2015, Bellfield raised £180,000 through the crowdfunding platform, Crowdcube.
- Last year, Bellfield secured listings with a number of the UK’s leading distributors and wholesalers including Conviviality, Bidfood, Amathus, and Green City wholefoods, Inverarity Morton, Gordon & Macphail and Craft Beer Clan Scotland. The young brewery was chosen as one of only 10 breweries in the UK for Naked Wines’ new craft beer offering which launched in January 2017.
- The beers are Coeliac UK accredited and carry the ‘crossed grain’ symbol. They are craft brewed in small batches using the simplest ingredients: Scottish water, malts from Crisp and Fawcetts, the best hops that Bellfield can source from around the world and carefully chosen yeasts. Bohemian Pilsner (4.5% ABV): A noble classic Czech pilsner, pale with a light body, slight background bitterness and gentle floral tones from the finest Saaz hops leading to a soft refreshing finish. 1.5 units of alcohol per 330ml bottle. Lawless Village IPA (4.5% ABV): Named after a neighbourhood in Edinburgh - Portobello – where the founders live. A copper coloured, aromatic beer brewed as a traditional American IPA made with pale and crystal malts and Cascade and Centennial American hops for a modern, citrusy finish.1.5 units of alcohol per 330ml bottle. Bellfield’s beers have been very well received in the market with its Bohemian Pilsner winning Gold and Lawless Village IPA winning Bronze in the 2017 Free From Food Awards. The IPA is a finalist in the best IPA category in the 2017 Scottish Beer Awards.
- The beers have also secured a listing in Aldi and Scotmid stores in Scotland and are available from good restaurants, cafes, bars, and off licenses in Scotland and beyond.
- New research from Mintel reveals that sales of free-from foods are forecast to grow 13% to reach £531 million in 2016, up from an estimated £470 million in 2015.
- Equity Gap is a group of private individuals set up to invest in and support emerging and growing businesses. The group are particularly interested in assisting young companies that have achieved the SMART award and businesses that have gone through a pre investment commercialisation process. For more information please visit www.equitygap.co.uk
- Harper Macleod is a leading, full service, independent Scottish law firm that is driven to deliver. The firm is a Living Wage employer and was one of the first companies to sign the Scottish Business Pledge. For more information about Harper Macleod LLP please visit www.harpermacleod.co.uk
- Henderson Loggie is one of the leading independent firms of Chartered Accountants and business advisers in Scotland, with offices in Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. The firm delivers business support and expert advice in audit and accountancy, tax, insolvency, corporate finance and financial services, alongside more specialist services such as forensic accounting and VAT. Henderson Loggie is connected nationally and internationally through membership of MHA and Baker Tilly, providing clients with access to advice across the UK and throughout the rest of the world. www.hlca.co.uk
- The Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) is the investment arm of Scotland’s main economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, operating Scotland-wide in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It manages a suite of co- investment funds including the Scottish Co-investment Fund and the Scottish Venture Fund, which are partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and the Renewable Energy Investment Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government. SIB is also an investor in Epidarex Capital’s life sciences fund and is a participant in the Scottish European Growth Co-Investment Programme alongside the European Investment Fund. SIB provides a team of Financial Readiness specialists to help companies prepare for new investment and access appropriate finance. SIB’s activities support Scotland’s SME funding market to ensure businesses with growth and export potential have adequate access to growth capital.