Edinburgh's Vault City Brewing to launch crowdfunding to help open second bar

Edinburgh craft beer-maker Vault City Brewing is launching a crowdfunding campaign to help open a bar in a coastal suburb of the capital.

The campaign aims to raise £25,000 to help fund the Porty Vault on Portobello High Street - a stone’s throw from the producer’s brewery.

Beer fans who back the crowdfunding project can cash-in on exclusive deals and experiences when the new bar is open. Supporters can get involved from as little as £50, with rewards scaling up to suit all budgets, bosses said.

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The Porty Vault will be Vault City’s second bar in Scotland’s capital following the successful opening of The Wee Vault in the Haymarket area last November.

The brewer has garnered a reputation for producing some of the UK’s most popular sour beers.

Co-founder Steven Smith-Hay said: “This is one of our most exciting announcements yet and a big leap forward for Vault City.

“Our brewery is already in Portobello, we’re part of the community there and we always will be. We considered opening a brewery tap-room, but we felt that we could do more to support the local high street by transforming an existing site. Opening a new bar right here on home turf is a dream.

“We have already enjoyed great success with the Wee Vault and adding a new bar to the portfolio is a natural step. As with any part of the business, we will grow with demand, and there’s every possibility we could open bars in other locations around the country.”

Steven Smith-Hay, co-founder of Vault City Brewing. Picture: Jeff HolmesSteven Smith-Hay, co-founder of Vault City Brewing. Picture: Jeff Holmes
Steven Smith-Hay, co-founder of Vault City Brewing. Picture: Jeff Holmes

He added: “We’ve received great feedback from our local community, supporters, and our customers, and I’m delighted to see that we’re already over a third of the way there with our funding goal. I can’t wait for more people to be able to join the modern sour beer revolution.”

The “intimate” new venue will fill the existing site of the old Skylark bar on Portobello High Street and will serve more than 20 Vault City varieties alongside established favourites and guest taps.

The venue will also feature a food operation run by experienced chef Darren Lim, a steakhouse specialist with more than 25 years’ experience working around the world including a decade spent alongside New Zealand celebrity chef Simon Gault.

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The launch of the crowdfunding campaign follows the successful release of two new product lines with supermarket giant Tesco, announced in April. Vault City is now available in more than 600 Tesco stores nationwide.

The rapid growth of the brewer since it was founded in January 2018 has seen revenues increase from just shy of £94,000 in December 2019 to more than £1.8 million in December last year, with gross profits in excess of £804,000.

When costs are considered, the business is still recording a net profit “well into six figures”. Since a shift to a four-day working week, revenues for 2022 are up 168 per cent, year on year, with net profits up 38 per cent.

An initial launch date for the latest crowdfunding expansion is planned for late June.



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