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Inside Cornwall's Verdant Brewing: buying extra fermentation vessels with the help of a £20,000 loan

HonestBrew creates loan pool for craft brewers

A personalised craft beer delivery service has launched an investment fund to support the expansion of its brewer suppliers.

HonestBrew, which offers subscribers boxes of beer tailored to their taste, is setting aside an annual £50,000 to be divided up among brewers for capital spend on brewing and packaging equipment.

The cash takes the form of a loan, unsecured and interest-free, which is paid back over a 12-month period in beer – the purchase cost to HonestBrew is simply deducted from the amount invested.

“We’ve been vocal about supporting independent breweries in the past, and now it’s time for us to put our money where our mouth is,” said firm founder Andrew Reeve. “The HonestBrew Investment Fund will not only contribute to the growth of independent breweries, it will make sure our customers get more of the beers they love.”

HonestBrew will not be making investments, just providing loans for capital expenditure. Reeve noted that there are “a lot of complexities that come with equity and we wanted to steer clear of that.”

The first brewery selected is Cornwall’s Verdant Brewing Co which is buying additional fermenting vessels with the help of a £20,000 loan.

Verdant director Adam Robertson described the deal as “a no-brainer. Without this funding we wouldn't be looking to upscale at this current rate.”

Two 45-hectolitre fermenters are on order from SSV which will allow Verdant to produce an extra two brews a week from next February.

And once installed the company will be able to claim back 45% of the total cost from Cornwall’s regional development fund, BIG2.

To be considered for investment, brewers must be existing HonestBrew suppliers, independently owned and use the funds to invest in new equipment or other capital expenditure.

Formed in 2014, HonestBrew sources beers from craft breweries around the world and delivers them directly to homes, workplaces and trade across the UK. Alongside its subscription service it has an online bottle shop and also supplies businesses, coffee shops and restaurants.

Phil Mellows
1st December 2017

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