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Expanding gluten-free brewer seeks £500,000

Bellfield Brewery

Bellfield in second funding round

Britain’s first dedicated gluten-free micro brewery has launched a drive to raise £500,000 following a successful first year of trading.

Launched in March last year, Edinburgh-based Bellfield Brewery has enjoyed a number of big contract wins as the free-from food and drink sector continues to expand. Mintel predicts the market to be worth £673m by 2020.

Now the brewery wants to raise additional capital – through a mix of equity, grants and loans – to fund its expansion.  It is supported by the corporate finance team at Henderson Loggie chartered accountants and legal advisers Harper Macleod.

Bellfield will create a number of jobs, allowing the existing operational team to commit on a full time basis.

It will strengthen the sales and management teams – initially recruiting a number of experienced account managers to service and develop the UK and international distribution network. 

Bellfield brewer and head of business development Kieran Middleton, said: “In the first year of trading we have established that there is considerable demand for our products, and have delivered on our ambition to produce beer that stands up to anything in the market.

“Having also secured distribution agreements with the leading food & drink distributors and wholesalers in the UK we now need to capitalise on this opportunity by growing the sales and operational team and extending our range of beers.”

In 2015, Bellfield raised £180,000 through the crowdfunding platform, Crowdcube. A number of the larger investors from this initial round have already committed to investing in this next fund raising round.

Last year, Bellfield secured listings with a number of distributors and wholesalers including Bidvest Foodservice (Scotland and UK), Matthew Clark, Amathus, Green City, Inverarity Morton, Gordon & Macphail and Craft Beer Clan Scotland. 

The brewery was chosen as one of only 10 in the UK for Naked Wines’ new craft beer offering which launched last month.  

In Scotland, Bellfield beers will again feature in Aldi’s craft beer festivals and from April, in bars on CalMac’s fleet of 32 ferries.

The gluten-free beers are stocked by about 200 bars, restaurants and independent bottle shops, mostly in the central belt of Scotland, although the brewery is starting to make inroads into London and the south east.

Considerable interest has been shown in the beers from overseas and Bellfield has already shipped pallets of beer to wholesalers in Singapore and Switzerland.

> BrewDog, the north east Scotland brewer, opened its North American headquarters on Monday in Canal Winchester, Ohio.

The $30 million facility on Gender Road took nearly two years to build and is the size of about two football fields. It will house BrewDog’s brewing equipment, distribution centre and tap room.

The brewery will start brewing next month and intends the facility to be a tourist destination.

Keith Bennet, who moved from Scotland to launch the brewery, said: “We had people coming from Brazil. We’ve had people driving down from Michigan just to have a beer, things like that. So, it’s really exciting. Hopefully, people do make it a destination and we can make it a really cool place to hang out.”

The Ohio Craft Brewers Association said the number of breweries in Ohio has quadrupled since 2012.

 

BrewDog also made headlines last week by announcing a new perk for its employees. Employees will get a week of paid leave if they adopt a dog.

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