What is billed as “the UK’s only dedicated gluten-free microbrewery” has hit its six-figure fundraising target as it embarks on an expansion drive.
Bellfield Brewery, which was launched in Edinburgh in March 2016, said its £430,000 investment had been led by the angel syndicate Equity Gap and was supported by the Scottish Investment Bank and existing shareholders, many of whom supported the venture’s original Crowdcube funding two years ago.
There is considerable demand for our products in the UK and beyondMarie Brown
• READ MORE: Gluten-free brewer eyes £500,000 to fund expansion
The brewery now plans to create a number of jobs, allowing the existing operational team to commit on a full-time basis. The first senior appointment will be a sales manager to develop the craft brewery’s UK sales in both the on and off trade. It will also invest in taking new products and formats to market.
The fund 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 legal firm Harper Macleod.
Unlike most other breweries now producing gluten-free beers, Bellfield does not “de-glutenise” its product using enzymes. Instead, it has optimised its brewing process and recipes to produce gluten-free beer naturally. The brewery has bagged several key contract wins as the “free-from” food and drink sector continues to expand.
Director Marie Brown said: “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 and 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, which 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.”
Bellfield said it has recently started “working intensively” with Scottish Enterprise as part of its account management process, which will see the firm receive tailored business support to help it realise its growth ambitions, both in the UK and beyond.
Kerry Sharp, head of the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, 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.”
Bellfield Brewery Lawless Village IPA was named UK Country Winner in the recent World Beer Awards with Bohemian Pilsner named as UK Silver Winner.
The capital-based brewer said it has already shipped pallets of beer to wholesalers in Malta, Singapore and Switzerland.