Small Beer - Family Snap

Small Beer has recently added an IPA to sit alongside its four other varieties

Small Beers has pulled in more than double its £300k target in a new crowdfunding campaign as backers flocked to invest in the fast-growing low ABV craft brand.

The latest raise on the Crowdcube platform is currently overfunding, with 570 investors pledging almost £700k to the business so far in the campaign, valuing the start-up at £16m, up from £9m just more than a year ago.

The brewery will use the money to ramp up expansion plans and grow supply capabilities to meet soaring demand for its beer, as well as pushing further overseas.

Small Beer is dedicated to the production of classic beer styles below 2.8% abv, with a five-strong range available in Waitrose, Ocado, Majestic Wine, Whole Foods and Planet Organic, as well as in on-trade premises.

James Grundy, who founded the business in 2017 with Felix James when the pair worked at gin brand Sipsmith, told The Grocer that the off-trade now made up about 50% of total sales.

“We’ve found consumers are starting to approach stocking up on Small Beer in much in the same way they would with other fridge staples,” he said.

“Our customers like to have their Small Beer close to hand for when they’re looking to punctuate the end of the working day. This insight has been behind our positioning as ‘your midweek essential’ and has been a significant growth driver for us to sit alongside the many other occasions to enjoy a Small Beer.”

Small Beer raised £750,000 on Crowdcube at the end of 2020, closing the campaign 24 days early due to the popularity.

Since the last pitch, the company has expanded its international reach from Iceland, Singapore, Hong Kong and Spain to add Norway, Finland and South Korea to its list of exports.

Small Beer has also become the house beer of London’s iconic Beaumont Hotel and won new retail listings across Planet Organic following on from its first-ever billboard campaign.

Revenues at the company jumped 137% in the 2020/21 financial year to just more than £1m.

“Re-establishing ourselves in the on-trade is, unsurprisingly, a focus for us following the pandemic,” Grundy said.

“We’re also looking to double our brewing capacity onsite for a second time to keep up with the demand, as well as growing our export side by shipping our Small Beer to yet more overseas markets.”